Rogatkin conquers Colorado – Hult, Vencl secure wildcards

The Colorado Freeride Festival saw an insane trick level at this year’s FMB Gold Event in Trestle Bike Park. With perfect weather conditions on ”Slopestyle Sunday” it was all about who was going to get the win and the two FMB Wildcards for Red Bull Joyride @ Crankworx Whistler. Nicholi Rogatkin (USA) was able to take advantage of the pristine conditions and get his first ever win at the Colorado Freeride Festival. The American was followed by Josh Hult (USA), who also grabbed one of the two available FMB Wildcards. Max Fredriksson (SWE), who put on a solid show at his first competition after a broken collarbone, rounded off the podium. The second wildcard of the day went to Jakub Vencl (CZE), who came in fourth.

Vencl was the first rider to put up a score in the 80s and move into top spot during the first runs (84.00). He was able to hold on to first place until slopestyle veteran Josh Hult pulled out a bag of tricks during his first run of the day. The 33-year-old notched up a score of 86.00 and no rider seemed to be able to match the No. 56 in the FMB World Ranking. Then the second last rider was ready to drop in. Still fighting through pain after his operation, Max Fredriksson showed a stellar run, which put him ahead of Hult for the time being (87.30). The Swede didn’t stay up there for long, since slopestyle power house Nicholi Rogatkin carried on from where he left off at Crankworx Innsbruck and sent a great run, which scored 91.00.

With the second runs about to commence all eyes were on the battle for the win and the two wildcard spots. Anyone wanting to grab ahold of a ticket to the fourth FMB Diamond Event of the season, would have to score better than Vencl’s 84.00. After the Czech failed to improve his first score of the day, he was on the bubble. Josh Hult showed consistency by scoring his high into the eighties once more and even pushed Fredriksson out of second position (89.00). Then things started getting hairy for Vencl. Logan Peat (CAN) set the tone (83.00) for his fellow countryman Paul Genovese. Peat, already qualified for Red Bull Joyride, scored 83.00 and got the crowed amped up. Genovese took advantage of the momentum and had his eyes on the wildcard prize, only to come up just short with a score of 82.70. Then the young German Lukas Knopf dropped in, throwing combos on nearly every feature. However, a costly pedal slip on the final landing most probably cost the 21-year-old his ticket to Crankworx Whistler for the FMB Diamond Event (83.30). With Max Fredriksson not able to improve his first score, Rogatkin was able to celebrate his first ever win at the Colorado Freeride Festival with a victory lap which included a 1080 X-Up for the final trick of a great day at Trestle Bike Park.

Colorado Freeride Festival Podium:

  1. Nicholi Rogatkin (USA) – 91.00
  2. Josh Hult (USA) – 89.00
  3. Max Fredriksson (SWE) – 87.30
FMB Wildcards – Red Bull Joyride @ Crankworx Whistler
Josh Hult (USA)
Jakub Vencl (CZE)

There is one FMB Wildcard left for this year’s FMB Diamond Series competition. It will be awarded at the FMB Gold Event O Marisquino in Spain (August 13) for the Red Bull District Ride in Nuremberg (September 1-2).

Photos by Carl Frey