Hello 2016: MTB Slopestyle just got crazy!
In the midst of the European winter, on the slopes of Saalfelden Leogang, some of the world’s best slopestyle riders just threw down one of the most heated finals ever. Szymon Godziek (POL) clinched a consecutive victory after beating Matt Jones (GBR) for the title. A pleasant sight was also seeing Russia’s Pavel Alekhin winning another best trick here at White Style. Just before the White Style finals, Austrian hero Fabio Wibmer won the Scott Snow Downhill Dual Race in front of Austria’s top UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup rider Markus Pekoll.
When visitors began lining the ropes up the giant slopestyle course in Saalfelden Leogang they had no idea what they were going to witness. 20 riders were invited to compete in the 10th anniversary of the FMB Silver Event, 5 of which were pre-qualified for the finals due to their FMB ranking, and another seven were taken from a qualifying round earlier in the afternoon. In the finals, towards the end of the second run things really began to heat up.
Pavel Alekhin, famous in Saalfelden Leogang for his 2013 victory, jumped into first place with an amazing run including a backflip barspin to tailwhip and huge backflip double tailwhip. “I am super happy to have completed my run. I was so scared about the backflip barspin to whip and landing it was awesome! But still, Godziek is the boss and Jones is the boss! Respect to them.”
Then, British rider Matt Jones dropped in with victory in his eyes – his run included a surprising double backflip and clean 360 no hand. His run bumped him up into first place, moving Pavel down to second. “I am honored to come second to Szymon, he did some FMX tricks, MTB tricks and BMX tricks, he won last year and has retained the title. I’m excited for him. White Style was awesome, Leogang always is. I will be back for 26TRIX in a few months for sure”, commented Matt after the podium ceremony.
Despite having no idea how to beat Matt’s run, Szymon Godziek unleashed an incredible trick combo featuring a frontflip barspin, backflip cliffhanger and cork 720 to finish. The Polish rider has claimed his second consecutive win here at White Style and commented: “I was first after my first run, but dropped to fourth heading into my second run and I thought to my myself I am here to win and nothing less. The other guys really put pressure on me to ride my best and I couldn’t be happier with the result.”
Shortly after the main contest, the riders took part in a Best Trick jam session. With all 2500 spectators gathered around the big booter in the finish area, the atmosphere was ripe for crazy tricks! Swedish rider Elof Lindh threw down a triple tailwhip. Anton Thelander was demonstrating why he is known as “Cleanlander” and Lukas Knopf was hoping to redeem a big trick after crashing in the finals. The top three riders from the Best Trick jam session are Pavel Alekhin (Flip bar to bar to tailwhip), Szymon Godziek (cork 720 can-can that has never been shown on a mountain bike) and Diego Caverzasi (Backflip Cliffhanger).
The 10th anniversary White Style, Europe’s traditional season opener, was a great success. Event host from Bikepark Leogang Kornel Grundner comments: “The 10th anniversary was a sensational show. I think when riders reach points in the high 90’s, it’s clear that the level is very high. We had a great birthday party and everyone enjoyed the celebrations.”
Between the White Style qualifying and finals, the Scott Snow Downhill Dual Race kept everyone entertained. Over 30 riders participated in this fun side event. In the end, the world-renowned street trials and downhill rider Fabio Wibmer was surprisingly faster than Austria’s UCI World Cup powerhouse Markus Pekoll.