As the freeride mountain bike scene continues to see top talent emerge, the return of the Red Bull Rookie of the Year (ROTY) Award and Best Trick Award contests for the 2023 FMB World Tour season will be a welcome sight for riders.
Joining the likes of riders who have gone on to compete at the highest level of Slopestyle competition, the title Red Bull ROTY will be awarded to the #1 ranked Male & #1 ranked Female Rookie Athlete based on the year end 2023 Male and Female Rookie Rankings.
The 2023 Red Bull Male ROTY will receive wildcard entry to the first Crankworx Slopestyle event in 2024, with flights and accommodation included, as well as a 2024 FMB World Tour License, Red Bull ROTY Trophy, and more. The 2023 Red Bull Female ROTY will receive a travel allowance to a 2024 FMB sanctioned women’s event of their choosing, as well as a 2024 FMB World Tour License, Red Bull ROTY Trophy, and more.
Updated eligibility criteria for this year’s Red Bull ROTY Award allows athletes to compete at FMB Diamond level events in the 2023 FMB World Tour season, through either wildcard or qualified invite, so long as it is their first year doing so. Tie break rules have been outlined for the 2023 Red Bull Rookie of the Year Award with title and prize money being divided equally should the tie be unbreakable. Full Red Bull ROTY Award rules and regulations.
Awarded across five categories, Best Trick Award is a virtual competition where participants will submit their “Best Trick” video from a sanctioned FMB event within the 2023 season. Video submissions will remain open until November 30, 2023 at 23:59 PST.
Best Trick Award recipients will receive a 2024 FMB World Tour License, EUR 450 (Gold level), EUR 350 (Silver level), or EUR 250 (Bronze level), and a FMB World Tour social media channel feature.
Updated for the 2023 FMB World Tour season, participants are to be judged by the FMB Judges Panel made up of FMB Advisors, Ex-Athletes and accredited FMB Judges. Full Best Trick Award rules and regulations.
Representative of the future of freeride mountain biking, the sixth edition of the Red Bull ROTY Award offers the next generation of riders opportunities for progression and exposure to the highest level of the sport. Felix Tornqvist recently competed at his first FMB Diamond level event, Maxxis Slopestyle in Memory of McGazza, after being named the 2022 Red Bull Male ROTY:
“To get the opportunity to compete in Crankworx already, as I’ve only been competing seriously for one year in total, has really been a gamechanger for me. [Red Bull Rookie of the Year] gave me the possibility to both experience and enjoy a Diamond level event firsthand and it motivated me to keep on going so that I hopefully will be back at Crankworx soon.”
On the importance of the award for up-and-coming riders and what advice he would give to those chasing the coveted title in 2023, the Swedish rider continued: “I think Red Bull Rookie of the Year gives upcoming riders a chance to experience what it takes and what it feels like to be a part of a big event like Crankworx, giving them a little extra motivation to take the next step in their career and to keep striving to become an even better rider. The best advice that I can give is to choose the competitions that are suitable for you as a rider. I started by going to easier events and just having fun and getting to know other riders and enjoying the experience.”
Michaela Hajkova, fellow competitor and 2022 Red Bull Female ROTY (tied with Alma Wiggberg), shared a similar sentiment to Tornqvist on the opportunities that the title brings. “I think it’s a great motivation for riders that are just starting and trying to make it to the top. It also brings new faces that are not that known to the spotlight and shows the new talents to keep an eye on.” For those looking to claim the title in 2023, Hajkova kept her advice light: “Just have fun and try your best!”
Designed to reward trick difficulty and progression, creativity, execution, and hype value, the title ‘Best Trick Award winner’ is representative of mountain bike athletes unafraid to push boundaries. Pierre Colsenet, 2022 Best Trick Award winner (Gold Level Male), deemed it the award that “gives a bit of light to those who work in the shadows.”
The French rider highlighted the importance of the award, as it “is the reward for the time spent working on tricks that standout [and] allows everyone to express themselves and show their work and commitment to the evolution of our sport.” Similarly, Patricia Druwen, 2022 Best Trick Award winner (Silver Level Female), thinks “it is definitely a good opportunity for young riders to show themselves with one or two outstanding tricks, especially if they are not yet ready for a complete top line, [and] show them to a big public.”
For riders looking to enter the Best Trick Award contest this season, take it from Druwen, who won the award at only 15 years old, that “young riders shouldn’t be too shy and [they should] just submit their Best Trick.”