2013 Vienna Air King kicks off FMB World Tour

The 2013 Vienna Air King will finally kick-off the FMB World Tour in Europe. It will again be an elite summit of the world’s best dirt jump riders, when athletes from 18 nations head to Vienna on April 6th and 7th in pursuit of the “King of Vienna” title. The rider elite will include athletes like Soderstrom, Genon and Reynolds, as they come to battle for the first world tour points of the season, on the backdrop of Vienna’s breath-taking city hall square. As part of the annual ARGUS BIKE FESTIVAL, visitors can look forward to an amazing show. To have a sneak peek at what’s coming up at VIENNA AIR KING you can now watch the brand new teaser clip:

VIENNA AIR KING has always been a great international get-together of dirt jumpers: For the past few weeks, the world’s best freeriders have been selected and invited, to compete at this unique and stylish event at Vienna’s Rathausplatz, placed directly in the city centre. It is not only the prestige and the world tour points that attract the riders to VIENNA AIR KING: a prize purse of 10,000 Euro is quite a big motivation for them as well. Let’s not also forget the notorious after parties such as the official party at the U4 club.

There are a bunch of riders who return to Vienna year after year. Renowned for its unique atmosphere, the Silver level event attracts not only well-respected athletes, but also is a great show ground for new young talents. Moreover, there is a wildcard to be won for Red Bull Berg Line (FMB World Tour stop in May in Germany). The best placed VIENNA AIR KING participant, who is not already invited to Red Bull Berg Line, will get the opportunity to move up into the line up of this FMB World Tour Gold event in Winterberg on May 19th.

VAK2012_Action_Martin soederstrom_by AleDiLullo-8219

Local heroes Niki Leitner and Patrick Leitner – the latter is the incumbent European FMB World Tour AM champion – will be looking to win on their home turf. However there will be heavy competition from across the globe to prevent an Austrian victory: Sweden will be sending riders like Martin Soderstrom and Anton Thelander to Vienna. France will also have strong representation: they will be sending Antoine Bizet, the silver medalist from last year’s Red Bull Rampage. Convalescent Mehdi Gani will also be looking for a good start to the season. Likewise heavy-trick specialists Thomas Genon (BEL) and Szymon Godziek (POL) are highly motivated to ride in Vienna. Last year’s vice champion Sam Reynolds (GBR) and the crazy trick machine Pavel Alekhin (RUS) bring the line-up to a round figure.

Voilà, the preliminary rider line-up for the VIENNA AIR KING 2013:


Name Country Name Country
Niki Leitner AUT Louis Reboul FRA
Patrick Leitner AUT Amir Kabbani GER
Thomas Genon BEL Peter Henke GER
Brett Rheeder CAN Sam Reynolds GBR
Jakub Vencl CZE Szymon Godziek POL
Tomas Zejda CZE Pavel Alekhin RUS
Xavier Pasamonte ESP Teo Gustavson SWE
Antoine Bizet FRA Linus Sjöholm SWE
Leo Delfour-Barsacq FRA Martin Söderström SWE
Mehdi Gani FRA Anton Thelander SWE


From North America, Canadian talent Brett Rheeder will be riding at VIENNA AIR KING with high hopes of scoring valuable FMB World Tour points. Xavier Pasamonte from Spain was the last athlete to get into the set rider field. We should also mention that the set riders are accompanied by 50 pre-qualifyers, who applied for the chance to ride at Vienna. The pre-qualifying applications were very competitive, but now the most competent and daring riders have been selected, probably most renowned pre-qualifyer, is the spectators’ sweetheart, Matt Macduff from Canada.

VAK2012_Action_Thomas Genon_by AleDiLullo-8044

So don’t miss the clash of the trick jump titans: On Saturday, April 6th from 2:00pm to 4:00pm the set riders and the pre-qualifyers will be trying their best to pass to the finals, during qualifying. The second highlight of the day is the “Panasonic Best Trick Contest” from 4:15pm to 5:15pm – an action-packed best trick jam session. On Sunday the comp continues, when the twelve best riders perform in the big final from 2:30pm to 4:00pm. Make sure to be there when the “King of Vienna” is crowned!

More information can be found on the official VIENNA AIR KING website: www.vienna-air-king.at or on the VIENNA AIR KING Facebook Fanpage: https://www.facebook.com/viennaairking.

Ron Callahan is the chief cook and bottlewasher at Bike World News, doing everything from website design to bike reviews.