The second stop of the Freebird Slopestyle Series, a FMB Bronze level event, saw 33 athletes in three categories – U14, Open Women, Open Men – take to Highland Mountain Bike Park’s Slopestyle course. Despite some afternoon rain, the event ran smoothly and showcased many up-and-coming riders, as they looked to make their mark on the mountain biking world.
Since the first stop in June, the U14 class had more than doubled in size, with nine young riders ready to tackle the challenging course. With a couple fast one-footers and whips from Grady Payson and some toboggans and one-handers from Julian Voytilla, the competition was already off to a strong start.
14-year-old Finley Kirschenmann of Utah brought it home with his untouchable first run, as he tricked every feature and flipped the step-up. Several of the Open Men’s class competitors joined Kirschenmann on his victory lap, making it much more of a party lap and giving the crowd a taste of what was still to come.
The Women’s Open class featured a feisty field of five, ready to progress the women’s Slopestyle category. Even through a rain delay, spirits remained high (though that might be partially due to the start gate dance party), and riders returned with renewed energy to tackle the course.
Clair Sick, a newcomer to the Slopestyle scene, hit almost every feature and Whitney Poulin, an established rider, pulled out many classic whips, tables, one-handers. Amila Capuano’s smooth riding coupled with her ability to effortlessly throw down one-handers and suicide no-handers, secured her top place.
The second stop of the Freebird Slopestyle Series wrapped with 19 riders from the Men’s Open class putting on an impressive show for the spectators and judges alike. The competition was close, with Kevin Sweeney, Dustin Iverson, and James Angiulo in constant battle for third place, all holding the medal position at one point during the day.
Christian Arehart, trying to “take it easy” with still being in recovery from a shoulder injury, casually rolled into second place after he pulled out some flip whips, barspins, and multiple front flips. Defending champion, 16-year-old Kaidan Ingersoll, maintained his top spot with a run that featured backflips, truck drivers, barspins, and 360 tailwhips.
The event closed out with a backyard-style award ceremony, featuring live music and lots of good food and drinks to celebrate the day’s many victories. Event organizers felt that the second stop of the Freebird Slopestyle Series was a “pretty big success” and are looking forward to what stop three brings.
With this series quickly coming to a close, Highland Mountain Bike Park is excitedly waiting to award the series winner in both categories with a full-day private training session in 2022 alongside a Red Bull athlete.
Current Series Standings:
The final stop of the Highland Mountain Freebird Slopestyle Series will take place later this month on September 25th and we cannot wait to see what riders have in store for us next time!