Not only was this years Vienna Air King the fifth anniversary of the event, but it was also the inaugural event of the first ever Freeride Mountain Bike (FMB) World Tour, so an auspicious occasion! Sam Pilgrim (GBR) had to work for his win against last year’s winner Martin Soderstrom whose stunning second run included a 360 at the drop, double tailwhip, 360 one hand (which was probably planned to be a bar-spin), 360 double tailwhip and a tail tab to foot jam on the quarter, a run so good it would have appeared to have sealed it for the Swede.
In fact Martin was so happy with his performance that he decided to skip his last run as the wind got stronger towards the second half of the finals. Enter Sam Pilgrim. Not one to turn down the opportunity of a win, his insane third run consisted of a backflip-table at the step down, backflip x-up one foot, 360 table top, 360 double whip and flair at the quarter! It was tight between the two, but the variety of rotating tricks of Pilgrim made it not too hard for the judges. Sam’s first place and 3,800 Euros cash were well deserved.
Rounding things off, the youngster John Alm Hogman came in third place, Jamie Goldman got fourth, and the Austrian local Andi Brewi fifth.
Sunday saw the Panasonic-Best-Trick-Competition and the riders take the chance to break out the big guns; Martin Soderstrom showed off some 360 double tailwhips and a double tailwhip at the over three meters (10 ft.) high start drop. Dawid Godziek (POL) surprised the crowd with a 360 triple barspin. Danny Pace (GBR) landed a frontflip tuck no hand, Sam Pilgrim a frontflip x-up as well as a 360 down side whip and a 360 superman seatgrab. But it was Andi Wittman who took the win, 500 Euros cash and a HD-camcorder with a super clean and styled cork 720 at his third try.
1. Sam Pilgrim (GBR/DiamondBack)
2. Martin Soderstrom (SWE/NS Bikes)
3. John Alm Hogman (SWE/Scott)
4. Jamie Goldman (USA/Santa Cruz)
5. Andi Brewi (AUT/KTM)
6. Blake Samson (GBR/Diamond Back)
7. Thomas Zejda (CZE/Dartmoor)
8. Andi Wittman (GER/Giant)
9. Symon Godziek (POL/Dartmoor)
10. Marek Maro (CZE/Dartmoor)
11. Benny Korthaus (GER/Red Bull)
12. Bartek Obukovicz (POL/NS Bikes)
13. Amir Kabbani (GER/Mongoose)
14. Darren Berrecloth (CAN/Specialized)
15. Jakub Vencl (CZE/Author)