Freestyle Mountain Bike: Tobi Wrobel at the Audi Nine mountain bike event

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SWOX Athlete Tobi Wrobel was one of over 20 international mountain bikers who competed at the annual Audi Nines MTB event. The venue was the impressive stone quarry Ellweiler, near Birkenfeld Germany. We talked with Tobi about the week at the Audi Nines, how he sent it big time at the mega hip and how he implements #SWOXIMPACT into his life.

Can you please give us a quick overview about Audi Nines and what it means for the MTB community?

Audi Nines MTB is one of the biggest freeride mountain bike events in the world. It’s an invitation-only event with 23 of the best athletes, plus 2 wildcards, competing against each other on a course in an inoperative stone quarry called Ellweiler in Germany. This part of the course gets build just for this occasion. For an entire week the riders get to play and work on the course with filmers and photographers.

In a nutshell, it’s a big freeride mountain bike family gathering! It’s all about having fun and being creative together with the photographers and filmers and thus create awesome footage. In other words, it means a lot to the mountain bike community.

Firstly, it’s very tangible for the crowd, but on top of that it’s an event where the riders are pushing the limits every day: Lots of “world’s firsts” to experience for the crowd and we really get to show what’s possible on a bike. Last but not least, Audi Nines always produces insane footage no one has ever seen before.

How does a day and the week at the Audi Nines look like?

The first time you enter the old mine and see the course is a goosebump moment and you get super hyped. The first day is a warm-up day: We walk around, take a close look at the jumps and features, do some test runs, try a couple of tricks – but everything is very easy-going.

In general, there’s a great no-pressure vibe the whole week and that is actually what the event stands for. That means that we can start and end our day whenever we want. Of course there is a rough schedule and prescheduled photo shootings, for example a sunrise shooting and a night shot, but as an athlete you always have the choice. For example, if you feel like you rather take a break and rest or you are just not feeling it that is ok, too. 

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(c) Flo Breitenberg – Audi Nines MTB 2019

“I had days where I was riding all day and only had breakfast and dinner, sometimes not even breakfast.”

I guess, bottom line the amount of riding you get in during the Audi Nine event depends on how motivated and fit you are. I was super hyped this year and thus had days where I was riding all day and only had breakfast and dinner, sometimes not even breakfast.

A special feature of the contest is the rider poll. On Saturday at the big gala we judge each other in terms of ‘best line’ or ‘best trick’, while we watch the footage from all the photographers and videographers and it’s always mind-blowing!

Next year will be my tenth anniversary at the event and I am so stoked to be part of the Audi Nines family since almost the beginning!

Can you tell us more details about the day you’ve tried to break the world record?

I actually didn’t try to break a record on purpose that day. The feature we were riding on, the hip, was definitely fun and frightening at the same time, mainly because it was gigantic. On the first day we started to ride the hip and everything worked out perfectly.

Then fast forward to the day you are referring to, during the first runs I took it easy and had a ton of fun. I felt better and better and thought, I would go a bit faster. Consequently I went higher and higher.

In the end, unfortunately, I crashed super hard, but afterwards Nico (note: Nico Zacek, founder and host at Audi Nines) and some of the videographers came up to me and told me that this was probably the highest jump they’ve seen that day and it could have been the world record. But I crashed and it’s ok. Looking back I am just happy that I was able to walk away from this horror crash.

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(c) Gah Krämer – Audi Nines MTB 2019

You’re part of the SWOX community because you are an amazing MTB athlete. All SWOX athletes also share THE PASSION FOR a sustainable lifestyle. What are youR go-to-strategies in your every-day-life as a human being and an athlete?

I love the idea of living sustainable with ease.The three main things I do in terms of sustainable living are reducing emissions by avoiding unnecessary car rides, avoiding single-use plastics and eating a sustainable diet.

For example, I run my daily errands by bike or even walk and I actually enjoy both things more than riding a car. When I go grocery shopping I always bring my own bags and containers. I make a point in saying ‘no’ to plastic straws. In addition, when I go biking I bring my own water bottle.

My diet is mostly vegetarian and I try to stick to local veggies and fruits. However, if I do eat meat I only buy locally sourced meat or fish and avoid beef. My favorite homemade vegetarian meals are a veggie rice dish and potato fritters.

#SWOXIMPACT: Shift your diet to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

At the moment my influence in terms of used materials and packaging with most of my sponsors is limited, but I hope this changes in the near future. There is definitely room for more. Right now, my contribution here is that I recycle and reuse packaging from all the shipments I receive. It is also great to see how packaging has changed and is made of recycled materials and cardboard a lot more nowadays.

#SWOXIMPACT

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(c) Jonas Skorpil – Audi Nines MTB 2019