Patricia Druwen (GER) and Jake Atkinson (GBR) have each been awarded the title of Red Bull Rookie of the Year (ROTY), having finished the 2023 FMB World Tour season atop the FMBA Red Bull Rookie Women’s Standings and FMBA Red Bull Rookie Men’s Standings, respectively. Proving to be deserving recipients of the award, Druwen had an undefeated season at just 16 years old while Atkinson celebrated two podium finishes at FMB Gold level events in only his second year of competition.
With six first place finishes across the 2023 FMB World Tour, Patricia Druwen undoubtedly showcased the incredible level of skill required to secure the Female Red Bull ROTY Award in only her first year of eligibility. Closing out her season with a session on the Red Bull Joyride Diamond Level course in her newly presented Red Bull helmet, Druwen is setting the standard high for the future of freeride mountain biking.
On what the newfound title means to her after an already incredible season, Druwen shared: “This year has been a blast. I signed so many new sponsors, I won Best Trick and MVP at Swatch Nines, I showed some female world’s firsts, got my Red Bull helmet handed to me by Erik [Fedko] in Whistler, rode the [Red Bull] Joyride course… It’s been awesome. Being honored with the [Female Red Bull] Rookie of the Year Award is pretty cool. It kind of rewards you for your riding and the progress that you have made. So, I feel pretty good about that.”
Fellow competitor, Jake Atkinson, secured the Male Red Bull ROTY Award with four podium finishes across Silver and Gold Level events, and a roster of other top place finishes that earned him a total of 1533 points on the FMBA Red Bull Rookie Men’s Standings.
Reflecting on his highlight season, Atkinson shared: “Red Bull Roof Ride for me was the biggest achievement, as it was something I wasn’t sure I was even going to go to when I got the invite. I knew it was so big and I had never ridden anything like that, so to go to that event and be on the podium was such a big accomplishment for me. I honestly can’t believe I managed to pull it off and get [Male] Red Bull Rookie of the Year!”
As part of the respective prize packages, in 2024 the Female Red Bull ROTY will receive travel support to a FMB sanctioned women’s event and the Male Red Bull ROTY will receive wildcard entry to the first Crankworx FMBA Slopestyle World Championship event.
“I don’t really have any determined goals, like winning this or being awarded that,” said Druwen on what the 2024 FMB World Tour season might look like for her. “I really want to continue riding contests and definitely would love to give the [Red Bull] Joyride course another try. Aside from that I just want to compete as good as I can and have fun.”
“Crankworx is always something I have dreamed of being a part of,” said Atkinson, who secured his spot on the Maxxis Slopestyle in Memory of McGazza start list next year through his Male Red Bull ROTY win. “I am super excited and nervous for the first event next year being the biggest event I will have ever ridden. My aim is to go out there and have fun on my bike and get a full run top to bottom that will hopefully secure me my place on the Crankworx World Tour.”
If the achievements of the 2023 FMB World Tour and its athletes are any indication as to what the 2024 season will bring, then it promises to deliver more extraordinary moments that will continue to grow the sport of freeride mountain biking. While a date has not yet been confirmed for Patricia Druwen to return to the Red Bull Joyride course, expect to see Jake Atkinson amongst other world-class Slopestyle athletes for Maxxis Slopestyle in Memory of McGazza on March 24, 2024.