Big air, extraordinary skill and a more exciting course than ever – this is the 2019 Audi Nines.

17 September, 2019

It’s the dirt, or rather summer version of the famed Audi Nines snow events and a showcase of some of the greatest freestyle mountain biking talent on the planet.

This is the second year that Audi has presented the Audi Nines MTB, after an incredible event in 2018. Once again the Ellweiler stone quarry near the German town of Birkenfeld was transformed for a week in to the epicentre of mountain bike (MTB) action in Europe.

The top 28 MTB riders in the world took to the dirt to showcase their incredible freestyle talents, although in reality, they spent more time in the air than on the purpose-built MTB course. The course itself was a work of art, employing the considerable talents of a dedicated team of course builders and no shortage of heavy machinery to created something out of a mountain biker’s wildest dreams – or worse nightmares, depending on your point of view.

Top MTB riders, Patrick Schweika from Germany, and British rider, Sam Reynolds (the first man to complete a double back flip on a MTB) consulted on the course, helping create two lines for slopestyle and freeride bikes that took the innovative design of the previous year to new heights.

There was an all-new ‘space station skate park area’ as well as the two Slopestyle lines from last year and a series of even bigger jumps. The satellite feature was there again, but perhaps the crowning glory of this year’s course was the enormous ‘perfect hip’ complete with the Audi tower. This massive feature is the biggest jump on the course and features a huge take-off with landings on either side that are offset at a 90 degree angle. 

Big air, big tricks and big thrills for the huge gallery of spectators and the riders themselves, who were ferried (with their bikes of course) back to the top of the quarry after each run by a fleet of chauffeur driven Audi Q8s.

In addition to the big features, there was no shortage of big names, with some of the biggest in MTB circles in Germany for the event. The aforementioned Sam Reynolds was joined by the likes of America’s Nicholi Rogatkin and Sweden’s Emil Johansson as well as local German talents, Erik Fedko, Nico Scholze and  Lukas Knopf amongst others. And the big names didn’t fail to impress, with an abundance of serious skill on show. In a week of high flying action, it’s difficult to pinpoint a highlight, but Bienvenido Aguado’s Front Flip Tsunami was good enough to wrap up Best Trick and Tom Isted’s Double Barrel Roll was a standout. Isted also took things in the MTB world to new heights, when he launched to a height of 7.1 metres above the takeoff of the Perfect Hip — the highest air on a hip on a mountain bike of all time.

But American rider, Nicholi Rogatkin – winner of the Best Trick, Hardtail – summed up the Audi Nines MTB event best: 

“It’s such a supportive vibe here at the Audi Nines. All week all of the boys are supporting each other. The family aspect of the Audi Nines is so special. We’re all just pushing each other. We all share one common passion. The connection between all the riders is simply incredible.”