Nearly 4 000 spectators thronged to the Ellweiler stone quarry near Birkenfeld, Germany last month to watch the exciting conclusion of the Audi Nines MTB 2019.
In collaboration with Bikepark Idarkopf, the unique mountain bike event gathered a number of the world’s best mountain bikers from 11 nations to this unconventional location for a week of photo and video shoots on spectacular features, which concluded with an explosive finish well worthy of the event series’ 25th edition.
Ike Klaassen, 15-year-old South African Mountain Bike sensation, was one of the youngest riders to be invited to compete in the Audi Nines, and had quite an adventure in Germany.
Ike talked about the time spent in Germany:
What is the Audi Nines event all about?
Ike: Audi Nines is a mountain bike as well as a ski event. The mountain bike event is in summer, and the ski tournament is in winter. It is a great event, with an insane sponsor who comes with a crazy budget in Audi, which is pretty sick for a MTB event. The jumps are crazy and the riders get insane luxury, so it’s probably like the best experience ever.
How did you get involved?
Ike: I got invited because the contest organiser Nico Zacek knew who I was. I think he was commentating at an event and saw me riding. Then Monster Energy sent through a rider’s shortlist, and I somehow luckily got picked.
Ike Klaassen in action at Audi Nines © Syo Fliets
What races did you compete in?
Ike: It was a freeriding event, so there were no races and no pressure, so to speak. I was the youngest, but it was sick to be there either way. I didn’t really win anything but I won some trophies and stuff. I won Man Of The Day one day which was pretty cool. At the event they didn’t hand out prize money, but they put us up in fancy houses, and we ate insane food for the whole week. And the catering at the actual Audi Nines place was also so sick.
What was the best thing of the whole event?
Ike: The raddest thing was just riding with everyone in general. Then the backflip to dirt was pretty crazy. That jump was like 15 meters or something crazy and super high.