Red Bull Joyride 2019: Preview

Seven-time Crankworx winner, Red Bull Rampage champion and current Crankworx FMBA Slopestyle World Champion (SWC) – Brett Rheeder’s list of achievements is not just long, it’s most of all very impressive. Returning to his home country, the Canadian superstar would love to add another chapter to the mountain bike history books. Can Rheeder secure the Triple Crown of Slopestyle with Nicholi Rogatkin (USA) breathing down his neck? Can Emil Johansson (SWE) continue his fairytale comeback after his strong performance at Crankworx Innsbruck? All eyes are now on the last stop of the Slopestyle World Championships: Red Bull Joyride at Crankworx Whistler. Will German Slopestyle prodigy Erik Fedko (GER) be able to follow up his sensational run from last year and how will the Joyride rookie Lucas Huppert (SUI) stack up against the more seasoned field of riders?

Watch all the Slopestyle action from the final stop of the Crankworx FMBA Slopestyle World Championship in English, German and Polish LIVE from Whistler on August 17, at 4:30pm PDT (Sunday August 18 at 1:30am CEST) or subsequently on-demand only on Red Bull TV!

Crankworx comes home. What is now considered to be the pinnacle of Freeride events was first held in Whistler, Canada back in 2004 and quickly developed into the biggest international mountain bike festival series, with multiple stages and disciplines ranging from kids races to hardcore Downhill action. Slopestyle remains the King of the Hill however, with more than 35,000 spectators lining up alongside the course aptly referred to as “The Boneyard”. After some serious action shook Rotorua and Innsbruck, the trilogy returns to its roots in Canada with Red Bull Joyride, the third and last stop of the 2019 SWC season.

Brett Rheeder (CAN) has dominated this year’s Crankworx Slopestyle season. The twenty-six-year old came out on top in both stops so far, putting him in the top spot to defend his Slopestyle World Championship title. While a sixth place would be enough to secure the title in his home country, the Canadian is hungry for more. He is looking to complete the perfect season and the Triple Crown. This award was introduced in 2015 and seemed untouchable until Rheeder’s rival Nicholi Rogatkin (USA) managed to secure the sought-after trophy in 2018. The American was able to win the SWC stops in Les Gets, Innsbruck and Whistler. Rheeder would love to be the second rider to manage this feat and carve his name in the history books of mountain biking. 

To reach this goal, he needs one more win at the last stop in Whistler, but neither Rogatkin, nor Emil Johansson (SWE) will make it easy for him. Rogatkin is still hoping to return to his old form after a disappointing season so far. Johansson, however, is in absolute top shape after spending most of 2018 fighting a series of rare medical conditions. Rheeder and Johansson already had a fierce battle for the top spot in Innsbruck, where Rheeder managed to win with a razor-thin margin. Will he be able to repeat this after Emil Johansson has gathered up some more FMB World Tour podiums over the last few weeks, has regained his confidence and has a number of new tricks in his arsenal? Emil isn’t Rheeder’s only source of worry.

Dawid Godziek (POL) X-Games BMX veteran and SWC rookie, managed a third place in Innsbruck with a number of truly unique 1080 and Double Backflip Combos. Despite the fact that it is his first time competing at Joyride, the Pole is a top contender for the win. With 2018 Red Bull Rookie of the Year Lucas Huppert (SUI) and Paul Couderc returning from injury also in the riders list, Red Bull Joyride will have three new faces entering the contest for the first time. German Erik Fedko will try his best to storm the podium again with his advancing repertoire of technical tricks and groundbreaking Superman Seatgrab variations. 

In the overall ranking, Rheeder is closely followed by French multi-talent Tomas Lemoine who will not only try to beat Rheeder for the Overall but is also in the running to win the prestigious King of Crankworx title. In third position is Italian Torquato Testa, who is currently having his best SWC season yet with a 4th place in Rotorua and a 6th place in Innsbruck. They are all part of a strong comeback of the European Slopestyle scene. Could this be the first time since 2012, when Thomas Genon (BEL) won Red Bull Joyride, that a European rider takes the top spot of the Joyride Podium?

Rider Lineup

  • Alex Alanko (SWE)
  • Diego Caverzasi (ITA)
  • Paul Couderc (FRA)
  • Erik Fedko (GER)
  • Max Fredriksson (SWE)
  • Dawid Godziek (POL)
  • Lucas Huppert (SUI)
  • Emil Johansson (SWE)
  • Lukas Knopf (GER)
  • Tomas Lemoine (FRA)
  • Brett Rheeder (CAN)
  • Nicholi Rogatkin (USA)
  • Torquato Testa (ITA)
  • Jakub Vencl (CZE)