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Benny Korthaus is Vienna Air King!

07:49 17th April 2007 by
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The German Benny Korthaus walks away as the the Vienna Air King 2007



Last weekend the Vienna Air King took place for the second time since 2006. The numerous spectators that found themselves in front of a picturesque background looking into a blue sky saw more than the sun: riders were throwing down big with barrel roles, 720s and backflip turndowns. At this successful start of the 2007 mountain bike season, riders from eleven nations showed the Viennese public what they’ve been practicing all winter. Now, the German Benny Korthaus can call himself the Viennese Air King. The 17year old Sam Pilgrim from the UK surprised everybody with his second place finish. Trond Hansen was able to secure a win at the Best Trick contest with a perfect 720.



On April 14th and 15th the square in front of Vienna’s town hall was all about bike sports. As part of the ARGUS Bikefestival, numerous exhibitors and several tons of fresh dirt transformed the square of Vienna’s city center to a mecca for all bike fans. The European dirt jump elite could certainly not miss out on such an event. 40 riders from eleven European countries made their way to Vienna to be part of the Vienna Air King as the season opener. The qualifying on Saturday was divided into two heats. There the riders had the chance to qualify for the best trick session as well as for the final on Sunday. During their two runs, the riders gave everything to ensure that they would be riding again the next day in front of the amazing backdrop.



Qualifying results:

Benny Korthaus (GER)

Trond Hansen (NOR)

Christopher Hatton (FRA)

Amir Kabbani (GER)

Jan Stötzer (GER)

Pierre Grawitter (GER)

Andi Wittmann (GER)

Damjan Siriski (CZE)

Till Overwien (GER)

Mike Plümacher (GER)

Gabor Lenthar (HUN)

Sam Pilgrim (UK)



The best eight riders of the qualifying were allowed to enter the best trick session afterwards.

They tried tricks like flipwhips and backflip barspins — tricks rarely performed at contests but in the end the most amazing one was a perfect 720 at the second dirt jump by Norwegian Specialized rider Trond Hansen. For the crowds of spectators, Saturday had already been exciting but the finalists dared to top that on Sunday. Right on time for the finals, a light wind started to blow on the town hall square which unfortunately influenced the first runs of some riders. But the 17-year-old Englishman and 24-Seven rider Sam Pilgrim couldn’t care less as he showed an incredible first run of three, raising the bar to a very high level for the other riders.

He perfectly landed tricks on all of the jumps and surprised everybody with a super clean backflip turndown in the very first run of the final. Christopher Hatton was the only rider who was able to pull a trick at the drop-in and carry on riding. Unfortunately the 360 used up all his speed so that he could not throw down more big tricks tricks over the remaining dirts. Benny Korthaus scored high particularly in his second run with a backflip tabletop, a 360 tabletop and a tailwhip. After a bad first run Trond Hansen convinced the judges with his second one. The wind was also not able to stop the Mountainbike Rider/Santa Cruz rider Pierre Grawitter who managed to score high with a 360-tailwhip.



After a one and a half hour final in front of 3,000 visitors at the Vienna Air King, the top 5 were:



Benny Korthaus (GER)

Sam Pilgrim (UK)

Trond Hansen (NOR)

Pierre Grawitter (GER)

Amir Kabbani (GER)


They shared prize money of 5000 euros.

Sam Pilgrim promised with a huge smile that he will be back next year: “I didn’t expect to be on the podium, it will be hard to top that, but I will try it in 2008.” Benny Korthaus was completely stoked after the event in Vienna: Last year’s event was great but this year was really something else! Andi Brewi built this awesome course together with Amir Kabbani and Andi Wittmann and it was great fun to ride it.”



It has already been confirmed that there will be another edition of the Vienna Air King next year.

They tried tricks like flipwhips and backflip barspins — tricks rarely performed at contests but in the end the most amazing one was a perfect 720 at the second dirt jump by Norwegian Specialized rider Trond Hansen. For the crowds of spectators, Saturday had already been exciting but the finalists dared to top that on Sunday.

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