The Munich, Germany-based Freeride Mountain Bike Association announced this week that the X Games debut of Mountain Bike Slopestyle at X Games Munich 2013 will double as a Diamond stop on the FMB World Tour.
"It's super huge because we've never had this big of a spotlight for our sport before," says Brandon Semenuk, the FMB World Tour 2012 champ. "I've been watching the X Games ever since I was young and we've all been influenced by the progression in BMX and motocross. The timing feels right because our sport has really been coming into its own. This is going to be a big moment."
The event, featuring sixteen of the world's top riders, will close out X Games Munich on Sunday, June 30 on a technical freeriding course carved into Olympic Hill, on the site of the 1972 Olympic Games.
"As long as the course comes together right it should be a really good show, with a deep field of international competitors," says Semenuk, a Canadian rider. "The progression is moving really fast and we're seeing a lot of big tricks on bigger and bigger jumps. I think X Games fans are going to be in for a treat."
Events on the FMB World Tour are weighted as either Diamond, Gold, Silver, or Bronze, affecting the overall points rankings, with the Diamond designation going to top-tier events.
"Winning a Diamond event is worth 250 points more in the overall standings than winning a Gold event," Semenuk explains. The only other Diamond event currently listed on the FMB World Tour 2013 schedule is the Red Bull Joyride on August 17, part of the Crankworx Freeride Mountain Bike Festival in Whistler, British Columbia.
"The fact that Mountain Bike Slopestyle is part of the X Games Munich is a real milestone for the freeride mountain bike scene," wrote FMBA vice president Tarek Rasouli in a statement earlier this week. "It's exactly what lots of athletes and fans have dreamed of... The FMBA is very much looking forward to the only European Diamond event in 2013."