Ike Klaassen is a 15-year-old Dutch/South African that has been dominating the local junior DH scene and earned himself a few titles in Europe over the past few years. He is fresh off an event – the Crankworx Whistler Mountain Bike Festival – that took place in Canada earlier this month.
At this event he competed in the Canadian Open DH presented by iXS Youth 15-16 division and ended up placing seventh in this quick division.
“Crankworx was the two best weeks of my life,” said Ike. “It has been a dream to go to Whistler for a long time, so it was super sick to go there during the best time, during Crankworx. Our division was pretty quick, and I was placed fifth, but ended up seventh after a couple of riders had re-runs on a faster track.”
He is off to the Audi Nines Mountain bike event in September, that takes place at the much acclaimed Ellweiler quarry near Birkenfeld in Hunsrück-Hochwald, Germany.
The Audi Nines Mountain bike event 2019 is a unique Freeride and Slopestyle mountain bike event, in partnership with Bikepark Idarkopf, that is renowned for continuous competition evolution. Ike is one of the youngest guys invited to the event.
“I’m really hyped for Audi Nines as it’s the biggest official invite I have ever received, and all the pro guys are there, so it’s a huge event,” said Ike. “It’s super-special to be invited, and I can’t wait. The jumps are going to be sick.”
Ike lives in Stellenbosch, where there are miles of trails between the mountains. It is one of South Africa’s cycling hotspots, so there is no shortage of trails to have fun and train on.
Locally he has earned himself multiple WP Championships and is the current SA U17 DH Champion and the Cup Series Champ for both last year. Not only has he been dominating in SA, but his European accolades are quite substantial already.
Apart from the fact that Ike is surrounded by amazing trails on neighbouring mountains, they have also started their own bike park on the farm he lives on. Hellsend Dirt Compound is any riders dream. DH tracks, a nice, long flow trail, dirt jumps from beginner table tops to advanced doubles.
This means he has the ideal training ground literally on his doorstep and the best part of it is he’s on it every day and still more stoked than anyone to get out there.
If that wasn’t enough to get the young guy stoked, the Darkfest crew descends on his farm in January, so he can hang out with the big guys and get tips and advice, and has even hit the giant step-up the past 2 years, which is incredible for such a young rider.
Ike really has his eyes on the prize and is a force to be reckoned with.
Follow Ike on Instagram @ikeklaassen