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Loosefest 2017 - Additional images
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Nico Vink introduces Loosefest XL

Jun 212019

Freeride MTB legend Nico Vink is currently back in Malmedy, Belgium preparing for a bumper 2019 edition of Loosefest, aptly named Loosefest XL, Nico has some serious plans up his sleeve to make things bigger and better than ever, and we're not just talking about the size of the jumps. Set to take place from the 18th to 21st July at the infamous BikePark Ferme Libert, home of the original Loosefest line, which is currently undergoing a massive makeover.

We catch up with Nico to find out more about the roots of Loosefest and where it's heading…

At the time I just wanted to build big jumps and ride them with my friends and the Fest crew.

When did you start Loosefest and did you ever think it would gain as much attention as it has?

The first edition of Loosefest was in 2014. I was never chasing the idea of the event getting loads of attention. At the time I just wanted to build big jumps and ride them with my friends and the Fest crew. 

Starting with your first build there, how much has the line changed since the first event?

The first year we only had the first three hits. It was only from the second edition that we had the 90 foot step-down and the last hip jump. The first year the last of the three pack was bigger then the first. We could clear the line but it didn't flow that well. The following year I ended up making the first and the second set bigger and the third a bit smaller and it ran so much better. Over the next couple of years the jumps have been progressively growing. 

Usually people are keen at first but then when the see the size of the piles and the amount of dirt we need they start to get worried.

What was the vibe like at the first few events compared to now & how did the riders respond to seeing the line for the first time?

The first year the riders were completely blown away by the size of the jumps. Now they still are a little intimidated but everyone knows they've been ridden before and that they flow well.  Every year people are looking more comfortable on them. 

How did your partnership with the bikepark start and how did you convince them to let you build massive jumps that would only get ridden once a year?

The partnership with the Bikepark was actually pretty mellow. I just asked the owner JD if I could build some big jumps on his property and he was super keen. Usually people are keen at first but then when the see the size of the piles and the amount of dirt we need they start to get worried. JD was more like, do you need more dirt? Next year we make it bigger? He's been super supportive from day one. 

You're running a Loosefest XL edition this year, are we allowed to hear any plans you have to make it even bigger than before?

My plan is to build transfer landings on the first and second set of the line so we can go slightly bigger if we get comfortable on the line.  It will be super rad to see people transfer left to right. I'll also be building a new trick step up for those who want to get extra wild. I also want to involve the spectators a bit more, we'll be holding a whip off for the spectators to get involved in as well as making a few additions to the trails at the bikepark.

 

As always, Nico has found a way to make these beasts even bigger, so you definitely don't want to miss out on this one! Not only are the massive jumps something to look forward to, just take a look at the rider line up below.

 

Rider List:

- Andreu Lacondeguy (CAT)

- Kurt Sorge (CAN)

- Graham Aggasiz (CAN)

- Makken Mads Haugen (NOR)

- Vinny T (FR)

- Sam Reynolds (UK)

- Clemens Kaudela (AUT)

- Bas van Steenbergen (CAN)

- Tom van Steenbergen (CAN)

- Tom Reynolds (UK)

- Remy Morton (AUS)

- Jordie Lunn (CAN)

- Adolf Silva (CAT)

- Ethan Nell (USA)

- DJ Brandt (USA)

- Jaxson Riddle (USA)

- Nico Vink (BEL)

- Oscar Harnstrom (SVE)

- Alex Volokhov (CAN)

- Damon Iwanaga (USA)

- Conor Macfarlane (NZ)

- William Robert (FR)

- Gilles De Jong (BEL)

- Kade Edwards (UK)

- Kaos Seagrave (UK)

- Brendan Fairclough (UK)

 

The chase for constant progression and build perfection that Nico strives for is the only way an event like this can work, with the support of his family, friends and partnered brands. We can't wait to see what goes down at Loosefest XL next month! Watch this space and stay tuned for updates..

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