iXS Dirt Masters 2023

A recap of four gnarly days

The Bikepark Winterberg was once again the venue for the largest Gravity Festival in Europe. Thousands of MTB fans came to the Hochsauerland once again to experience the craziest action of the year live.

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It was an honor for us

The Dirt Masters was once again an absolute feast. So many events, so many highlights and so many excited fans. To describe this action in text form, the English language lacks words. In any case, this time there was something for everyone, whether young, old, small or large. At the Dirt Masters there was everything that the mountain bike heart desires. In this article we try to summarize this year's festival. So let's go!

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Preparation pays off

The planning fun started, of course, after last year's Dirt Masters in 2022, and that work finally paid off in May. The bike park and track crew from Dirtworks had to prepare all the tracks. The dirt park was almost completely reshaped and a completely new downhill track and seven new enduro stages were built. At the beginning of the action week the festival area was given the final touches. On Wednesday the exhibitors came and set up their expo booths. Here there were over 100 different booths where MTB fans could get everything they need.



Day 1 - For the Rookies

The grand opening was then on Thursday. At 12.00 o'clock the Expo area opened its doors in perfect weather. On the bike park area were numerous booths of the MTB industry, which came along with goodies, small pop-up events and equipment for rent. From Propain to YT to Maxxis and Sram was pretty much everything you could imagine. Even the first day of the festival was already full of great competitions.

So the Thursday was as always in the sign of the youngsters. Here the VPACE Kids Cup and the PROPAIN Rookies Cup took place. Our young racers really stepped on the gas. In these two races, a total of over 300 rookies took part, coming from over 20 different nations. Furthermore, the Schwalbe Uphill Flash was held and in the evening the slopestylers were able to compete in the Rose Best of Ten trick duel.

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Music Masters

Of course, musical acts must not be missing at a festival. The Music Masters Crew was responsible for this at this point. From Thursday to Saturday from 20.00 clock into the night with fat beats was celebrated properly. The location was different than in previous years. The biathlon shooting range was the optimal place for it.

The beginning was made on the opening day DJ Cem and the Beatpackers at the Hip Hop Hooray. On Friday the start of the weekend was celebrated at the 20 Years iXS Cup Party with Mountain Reggae Radio. On the last party night there was a special guest. Tomas Lemoine came as LIL Moine together with the Tanzkommando 144 on the stage and made one last time a lot of action. Here it got really wild, because some stars of the scene celebrated boisterously together with the fans and apparently had a very crazy night...

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Day 2 - The ultimate highlight

For every fan of the Dirt Masters, this event is a household name - the Whip Off Contest. On Friday evening it took place again this year and attracted more than 3500 visitors to the Dirt Park. On Thursday, riders could already qualify for the Whip Off in order to be able to dust off the crown on the following day. As usual, the crowd was again in a crazy mood and made a breathtaking atmosphere.

The best Whip was then determined by a spectator vote based on the loudest cheers. The golden TSG helmet was won by Jason Zhao this evening, he was able to convince the crowd and beat the star rider Gabriel Wibmer. In the women's category, Lina Frener really pulled her bike sideways and was able to win the golden helmet in the women's classification.

German Championship

The German Enduro Championship also took place on Friday. On up to seven newly created stages, it was a hot time for the enduro riders. One innovation, however, was that the last stage was now stopped by the light barrier and thus the winner was immediately determined at the finish. Of course, the fans loved this and the atmosphere at the Enduro finish was great. The German champions were ultimately Torben Drach and Raphaela Richter in the elite classes.

Other events

Other events on Friday were of course the training of the iXS Downhill Cup, the qualification for the Slopestyle on Saturday and a special Orbea Enduro Challenge for our Rookie Endurists. In the expo area there was also a Bag Jump Contest, where all riders could shine with their tricks.

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Day 3 - Flips, Spins und Whips

The third day at the festival brought a little fresh air. On this day, the sun apparently also played hide and seek a bit. But nonetheless, things were heating up at the iXS Downhill Cup seeding, as over 500 riders really set the new track ablaze. In the evening, riders spun their bikes on the slopestyle course. Even the legend Sam Pilgrim was at the start here. A smaller highlight on this day was the Braap Off Contest. The atmosphere went through the roof again when the pros slammed their tires into the turn. For our smallest fans, the PUKY wheel race took place in the late afternoon. It was just cute how the little ones raced through the curves on their bikes.

Seeding Run

Surprisingly, a rider from the Pro U19 category set the fastest time of the day. Evan Medcalf gave real substance and beat the Elite Men class with a tenth advantage. In the women's Elite class, Nina Hoffmann was able to pull out the fastest time. In the men's category Oisin O Callaghan was the fastest in his class.

Spin to win

It went again to the Dirt Park and what awaits us here? Right, absolutely sick atmosphere. The more than 4000 fans could watch 29 riders from 13 different nations flipping that evening. It got crazier and crazier towards the end, for example there was a backflip quadruple barspin to see - just awesome! The winner of the evening was the Swede Anton Linder. And of course he got congratulations from Cairns from his compatriot Emil after his victory.

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Day 4 - The race is on

This year, Sunday was once again full of race action. The iXS Downhill Cup held its finale on the newly built track that day. There were definitely one or two laughs in the meantime at the Puk-Off's, a race for adults but on modified kids bikes. In the afternoon the rookies could still impress local hero Erik Fedko at the VPACE Rookies Jam.

Finals, let's roll!

The first final of the season is coming up. The man at the start gives the track free, Nina Hoffmann is on the track, she delivers a clean race run aaaand goes over the finish line - wow - Look at the time! What almost sounds like the moderation of Rob Warner has occurred on this Sunday, however. In the elite class of the ladies Nina Hoffmann took the victory. Seeding winner Oisin O Callaghan unfortunately couldn't get a clean run down and finished second. First place was taken away from him by Phillipp Atwill, who once again was almost two seconds faster.

VPACE Rookies Jam

In front of Erik Fedko's eyes, the rookies tried to impress him. There were already decent flips, tailwhips, barspins and other tricks to see. Amazing, if you consider that some of the boys and girls were even younger than 14 years.

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That's it for this year

Now it is already over again. The action of the year has unfortunately come to an end again in 2023. The four intensive days went by very quickly, but were packed with highlights. All of you who were there know how great the atmosphere was and how much there was to experience. Hopefully you were able to get a few autographs from the stars, because some will certainly be back in Winterberg next year.

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Over and Out

To all who were there again a big THANK YOU. You are the reason why the festival was so awesome. You are the reason why the mountain bike sport is alive and you are also the reason why there will be a Dirt Masters Festival again next year. To all helpers, participants, spectators, all exhibitors, all sponsors, all media people, all securitys and especially the Bikepark Winterberg also again a big THANK YOU! It was once again an extremely great time and we are already looking forward to next year!

Check out the picture galleries of the individual events, maybe you will discover yourself on one or the other picture. Of course you can also follow the iXS Dirt Masters channel on Instagram and YouTube for more info, pictures and videos. Soon there will also be an official "After-Movie" on YouTube, you can't miss it!

Dirt Masters on YouTube

Dirt Masters on Instagram

All Pics from the Dirt Masters


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