He came, he scored, he conquered. Rogatkin, the American who had an impressive season start at Crankworx Rotorua was unstoppable at this year's Swatch Rocket Air again.
With a total of 94 points, Nicholi spun to the top and brought the crowd to their feet. Needless to say he had the best-trimmed moustache amongst the riders and proved it with his winning runs.
He won over the judges with several impressive tricks such as the tail whip down the step-down, Twister over the Moneyboosters, a fronflip up the step-up, impressive fast plant 360 the drop down from the Ghetto blaster and a triple tail whip over the hip, a tail whip again on the Wallride to Dirt landing and a cash roll on the smallest jump of the course into a 540 on the quaterpipe.
To top it off, he wowed the crowd with his classic BMX trick and finished off his perfect run. Next to the prize-money he also won critical points for the title of the Freeride Mountain Bike World Tour. He himself was overwhelmed with the atmosphere and mentioned that „the vibe in Thun was unbeatable and so appreciated.“ He wanted to go big for the insane crowd and is now, after his win as stoked for the party as riding the course. Nicholi is probably the most determined freestyle athlete on the planet and his win was well deserved.
Two Italians followed behind Nicholi in 2nd and 3rd place. Torquato Testa and Diego Caverzasi scored with amazing 87 and 78 points. It was a pleasure watching them take over the course. The art of Slopestyle is not only to deliver the raddest tricks, but to go beyond and ride with style, height and flow in one.
Only one was capable to kick Nicholi off the top spot: Brett Rheeder. But he crashed when he was going for it harder than ever. Such an upset, but there’s always a next time.
The audience favorite during Qualification was definitely the German, Nico Scholze. His Tsunami Backflip trick from the "back to the 80s" jump got the crowd pumped when he stretched his body away from the bike to the classic rock song “Kiss of Death”.
The Rocket Air 2017 was a huge success and the Flying Metal Crew once again outdid themselves with the course and theme. Hardly any Slopestyle course is as good, safe and exceptional as the ones built by the Crew. Ramon Hunziker looks forward to designing the 2018 course, but first it is time to enjoy a cold beer.
Once again the Rocket Air put a smile on many faces. From young to old, beginner to professional, bike enthusiast to newcomer everything was represented. The event was again a huge success and the Flying Metal crew is already stoked about creating the next year’s FMB Event.