The 5th edition of Suzuki Nine Knights MTB will see the world’s best freeride mountain bikers take on one of the most innovative and creative courses from the 4th to the 9th of September, 2017 at Reschenpass in South Tyrol, Italy.
Following a heated debate between the judges, both Bienvenido Aguado (ESP) and Reed Boggs (USA) were awarded a spot on the roster thanks to their impressive FOCUS “Become a Knight” video contest entries in the Open category. Meanwhile, the German young gun Axel Weinmann took home the Freeride category wildcard and the much sought-after FOCUS Bikes sponsorship for his stylish and versatile riding, both in steep chutes and in the air.
I think we can all agree that these three can throw down with the best of ’em. If you’re not convinved, watch the vids linked behind the names! Boggs goes big, Bienve is brutal and Weinmann is just plain steezy.
The Balzamico Trail Designs crew is wrapping up the construction of the massive course, so we caught up with host and course designer Sam Reynolds (GBR) to get more details on what we can expect from this year’s edition:
Sam, what is your involvement in the Suzuki Nine Knights MTB 2017?
Like last year, I am helping with the design of the course, working closely with Clemens Kaudela (AUT) and Andi Brewi (AUT) from Balzamico Trail Designs to create the most innovative MTB course possible. I’m really excited to optimize last year’s features while adding some pretty epic new ones.
What can we expect from this year’s course?
We have actually doubled the size of the entire course by extending it all the way to the Gondola station which gives us much longer lines, more room to play and increases the audience’s viewing options on Contest Day. We made sure to improve the flow line, the Big Bertha kicker, and the quarter pipe, this last one by including a higher and steeper landing for even bigger and badder tricks*. Probably the biggest improvement for this year is that we have a lot more room to build our big bike line snaking down the hill, and with 4 big hits, we’ll be getting some serious air time down there!
What is the feature you’re most excited about?
I’m excited to see what goes down on the ‘Sendolf’ kicker, a safe but massive step up jump named after Adolf Silva (ESP) – which he and Anti Rissonnen (FIN) helped conceptualize. We wanted to create the perfect trick jump suitable for dirt and downhill bikes to push our progression even further. To make that happen in the safest way possible, Masters of Dirt are lending us their landing airbag so that the riders can ease into new tricks. I think some big tricks will get thrown.
(Could this be the jump on which we’ll see Adolf nail his triple flip on dirt?)
As with previous years, this edition’s roster is full of freeride mountain biking’s heavy hitters including last year’s FMB World Tour winner Nicholi Rogatkin, trick machine Adolf Silva, and German powerhouse Nico Scholze. We’ve marked our riders to watch with a little ** to make it easier for you.
- Bienvenido Aguado (ESP)**
- Reed Boggs (USA)**
- Diego Caverzasi (ITA)**
- Geoff Gulevich (CAN)**
- Clemens Kaudela (AUT)
- Sam Pilgrim (GBR)
- Timo Pritzel (GER)
- Sam Reynolds (GBR)
- Antti Rissanen (FIN)
- Nicholi Rogatkin (USA)**
- Patrick Schweika (GER)
- Nico Scholze (GER)
- Adolf Silva (ESP)**
- Anton Thelander (SWE)
- Torquato Testa (ITA)**
- Nico Vink (BEL)**
- Olly Wilkins (GBR)
- Axel Weinmann (GER)
What will happen in South Tyrol? We’re less than two weeks from finding out!