Five days of camaraderie, inclusivity and sick tricks
Few events capture the spirit of freeride mountain biking like Audi Nines. It isn’t a competition so much as a celebration, freeing riders to push themselves in new, previously physics defying ways in the name of camaraderie and friendly peer pressure.
This year, it featured 36 riders. And for the first time ever, nine of them were women. Riders like Caroline Buchanan and Casey Brown, both pioneering women’s mountain bikers, sent it hard throughout the week. Buchanan, who worked hard during the pandemic to become a better freestyle rider, took home the award for best trick after landing the first ever women’s front flip to dirt.
Amidst the milestones were scores of incredible aerial displays and, more importantly, a lot of good vibes. You can catch some of the best moments in Audi Nines’ video wrapping up the event \embedded below. And keep scrolling for reactions and photos from Trek Athletes during the week.
Caroline Buchanan does front flip!
Audi Nines 2021 was all about firsts, but nothing quite brought the house down like Buchanan’s front flip. Just check out the reaction:
Buchanan is one of the most decorated women’s riders ever, with 16 national championships and eight world championships across BMX and mountain bike competitions. She saw Audi Nines as the perfect venue to make another statement with two wheels.
“To personally do a trick for yourself and to claim a world’s first, it’s really rewarding,” Buchanan said afterwards. “The conditions here to do a world’s first is the prime environment. You’ve got the guys who are really supportive, that culture, the environment, the hype, the support, the emotions, the cameras … This is just the global stage to land a trick like that!”
Buchanan never stops working and reinventing herself. This almost certainly won’t be the last time she shocks the world.
Emil Johansson wins best slopestyle line
Johansson never misses an opportunity to up the game.
Earlier this year, he won a fourth straight slopestyle contest at Crankworx. At Audi Nines, he put on an absolute show, contorting himself AND his bike in ways that had never before been seen. He proved once again that he is a technical wizard.
The women’s freeride movement keeps building, and Audi Nines was yet another breakthrough. In the 10-year history of the event, women had never participated. But not only did women take part in 2021, they upped the level while creating an atmosphere that was more inclusive and collaborative than ever.
Kathi Kuypers said she would absolutely be back if invited next year (perhaps, we hope, with her diner-inspired Trek Ticket in tow).
“I have always been a big fan of the event since the beginning, and four years ago I imagined myself being able to jump the jumps of Audi Nines,” Kuypers said. “To gain traction we need a platform to show what ladies are capable of, and events like this will help grow the sport.
“With this event you create idols and the business will follow. There has to be more female idols in this world, especially in freestyle mountain biking. I have a feeling that the Audi Nines family is complete now with girls.”
Casey Brown described Audi Nines as a mind blowing experience. She went to Germany just after hosting an all-women freeride event in her hometown of Revelstoke called Dark Horse, showing support for the sport’s young up-and-comers before impressing in front of the very best riders in the world.
Audi Nines revealed a clear path for young women to rise to the biggest stages in the sport. Nothing was more inspiring, even during a week of jaw-dropping moments.