Nicholi Rogatkin Wins Crankworx Innsbruck Slopestyle With Stunning Tailwhip-Cashroll
The American mountain biker made history at Crankworx's first edition in Innsbruck, Austria
21-year-old American Nicholi Rogatkin landed a tailwhip-cashroll on the final jump of the Crankworx Innsbruck slopestyle course to take the gold medal and make mountain biking history in the process.
The win was Rogatkin’s second of the year on the Crankworx World Tour – which now spans four stops – and sets him up for the chance to win the ‘Triple Crown’ in Whistler later this year and the $50,000 that goes with it.
The tailwhip-cashroll was the climax of a ridiculous run from Nicholi that earned a massive 96.00 ranking from the judges, just higher than the 95.66 of Canadian Brett Rheeder – who was equally impressive. It was a hard day to be a judge.
Rheeder, who won at Crankworx in Les Gets just a few weeks ago, had lead after the first round with a 94, and did everything he could to improve in the second after being pipped by Rheeder, adding a switch tailwhip, bar back and another barspin from the 360 to the drop.
But it was Rogatkin’s day, and after pulling out the tailwhip to cashroll – which Nicholi admits “I hadn’t even thought about coming into Innsbruck" – it was hard to deny him the win.
The rivalry at the top of the table and the huge performances by both Rogatkin and Rheeder have lead to the competition being called the best ever in slopestyle by quite a fair few – and with the Innsbruck mountains as a backdrop, it’s hard to disagree.
Third place went to French rider Tomas Lemoine, though it was a bit of a step back from the high-nineties to his score of 89.33, with Szymon Godziek behind in 86.00 and Emil Johansson on 84.00.
It was a day to remember for slopestyle mountain biking all round, which has proved again that it never fails to enthral.
History made. A battle had. And one hell of a climax to the scenes this week at Crankworx Innsbruck!