Tuesday Apr 03, 2012

VIENNA AIR KING: Sam Pilgrim gets the hat trick in Vienna

Vienna, April 1st2012 – After an amazing final, the VIENNA AIR KING 2012 on the Rathausplatz of Vienna, British rider Sam Pilgrim for the third year running is crowned the Vienna Air King.

The season kick-off of the FMB World Tour saw 100,000 people brave the poor weather conditions and the wind at the Rathausplatz place to watch the action. Pilgrim shares the podium with his fellow countryman Sam Reynolds and the Spaniard Andreu Lacondeguy.

Due to the hard weather conditions on the first and second event day, there was a slight change for the schedule. There was huge relief when Vienna’s weather conditions improved on the Sunday for the final. The absolute highlight of the ARGUS BIKE FESTIVAL on the Rathausplatz of Vienna saw plenty of big names, and in the end it was the contest-dominating Sams (Pilgrim and Reynolds) from Great Britain who took the podium places, joined by Andreu Lacondeguy with a convincing performance.

The extreme high trick level on the generously constructed jumps once again highlighted the awesome progression of freeride mountain biking in the last few years. New faces like Canadian rider Matt MacDuff or the young French guard featuring riders like Louis Reboul or Antoine Bizet increase the expectations for the third season of the FMB World Tour.

Sam Pilgrim made absolutely clear, that he is the ultimate factor in the dirt and slopestyle disciplines at the moment. Sam’s first run, that was not to be topped by any of the 30 finalists, he produced a backflip table at the step down, followed by a backflip no hand, a 360 tailwhip, completed with a 720, that brought him the highest score of the day.

Sam Reynolds came closest to Pilgrim’s level of tricks, kicking a backflip at the step down, a backflip no hand, a flipwhipand finally a 360 tailwhip at the last obstacle, resulting in second place.

Big airtime, Andreu Lacondeguy impressed the judges with a backflip from the step down, an extreme fat flipwhip, followed by a 360 flatspin at the third obstacle as well as a 360 tailwhip at the last jump.

The jinx of the weekend was Martin Söderström. After just releasing his wicked edit from the last weeks of his season’s preparations, you could expect him to place on the podium for sure. Unfortunately the Swedish trick machine crashed during practice when he tried a barspin to tailwhip. Slightly concussed and with a few stitches, he should be back at the next tour stop in Switzerland.

The silver event in Vienna also created a new Panasonic best trick king: the young gun from France Antoine Bizet killed an amazing backflip no hand at the step down in his run, counting at the same time as best trick and brought him an extra 1,000 Euro of prize money.

5thplaced Linus Sjöholm from Sweden was stoked about winning the wild card for the upcoming Red Bull Berg Line in mid of May. At the Vienna Air King he was the best-placed rider that was originally not invited to the FMB World Tour Gold event in Winterberg.

You can watch the full Replay here courtesy of Red Bull : http://extreme.com/mountainbike/1020604/vienna-air-king-2012-replay

See here the final’s results from the VIENNA AIR KING 2012:

1.         Sam Pilgrim  (GBR, NS BIKES)

2.         Sam Reynolds (GBR, POLYGON)

3.         Andreu Lacondeguy (ESP, YT INDUSTRIES)

4.         Szymon Godziek (POL, DARTMOOR BIKES)

5.         Linus Sjöholm (SWE, YT INDUSTRIES)

6.         Jakub Vencl (CZE, ROSE VERSAND)

7.         Amir Kabbani (GER, MONGOOSE)

8.         Loius Reboul (FRA, YT INDUSTRIES)

9.         Thomas Genon (BEL, UMF VELO TEAM)

10.     Patrick Leitner (AUT)

11.     Lance McDermott (GBR, SARACEN BIKES)

12.     Antoine Bizet (FRA, KONA)

13.     Tomas Zejda (CZE, DARTMOOR BIKES)

14.     Bartek Obukowicz (POL, NS BIKES)

15.     Ray Samson (GBR)

16.     Pavel Alekhin (RUS, HELLRIDE)

17.     Simon Kirchmann (GER, BERGAMONT)

18.     Marcin Rot (POL)

19.     Blake Samson (GBR)

20.     Bienvenido Aguado (ESP, YT INDUSTRIES)

21.     Yannick Granieri (FRA, POLYGON)

22.     Richard Fert (FRA)

23.     Fred Austruy (FRA)

24.     John Alm Högman (SWE, SCOTT)

25.     Alfred Scholtze (AUT, UMF VELO TEAM)

26.     Anton Thelander (SWE)

27.     Ramon Hunziker (SUI, TREK)

28.     Matt MacDuff (CAN)

29.     Adrian Tell (NOR)

30.     Romain Baghe (FRA)

Channels: Vienna Air King 2012, FMB World Tour 2012, Mountain Bike