From the Watchtower

The pool of freeride athletes is getting deeper and deeper – so who should you look out for in 2014?
Red Bull Phenom 2013 podium
Anton Thelander, Matt Jones & Tom Van Steenburgen © Flo Hagena/Red Bull Content Pool
By Kris Kurowski

The FMB World Tour is now entering its fifth season - over those years we have seen athletes like Cam Zink, Brandon Semenuk, Sam Pilgrim, Martin Soderstrom and Brett Rheeder rise to the top of the game. But the battle for glory is never ending. We cast our eye over the young and talented riders to look out for during the upcoming FMB World Tour season.

1. Anton Thelander (19 years old, SWE, ranked 6th overall)

Young ‘Cleanlander’ is rising fast – literally! Finishing 26th in 2012, last season he rounded off the year in 6th place. 2013 saw him beat some experienced athletes as he began to show more consistency and flow in his riding. His victory at Red Bull Phenom during X Games Munich was just reward for his efforts. Young, motivated and not afraid to ride the biggest courses, he is a clear threat to the overall ranking podium competitors.

© Daniel Rönnback/Red Bull Content Pool

2. Matt Jones (19 years old, GBR, ranked 30th overall)

Everyone should have this young British shredder in their deck of rider cards for the 2014 season. His crazy backflip attempt from the final drop at Red Bull Phenom on the X Games Munich slopestyle course shocked and awed the crowd as well as his fellow riders. Provided that he has the guts to match his skills don’t be surprised to see Matt on a few podiums this season.

© Epic TV

3. Tom Van Steenbergen (17 years old, CAN, ranked 33rd overall)

There is no denying that Canada has produced some of the best freeriders the world has ever seen. Brandon Semenuk and Darren Berrecloth have set unprecedented levels of trick progression over the years and Tom is demonstrating on a regular basis that he has the determination and skills to join their ranks in the years to come. Starting his second FMB World Tour season in 2014 on a spanking new Trek bike, expect more #Miniflipmondays, crazy CP Gang edits and impressive FMB World Tour results from Tom.

© Ian Hylands/Red Bull Content Pool

4. Peter Henke (20 years old, GER, ranked 10th overall)

Peter Henke has been circling the FMB World Tour scene for years now but 2013 was a breakthrough year for the German rider. Points rolled in event after event while a second at the Colorado Freeride Festival was his biggest season highlight. These results secured him 10th place overall. The blonde haired stud is entering 2014 as the latest member of the Red Bull MTB family and with a fresh ride courtesy of his new bike sponsor Canyon. We think Peter will be double flipping and spinning his way onto more podiums this year.

© Toby Cowley/Red Bull Content Pool

5. Anthony Messere (18 years old, CAN, ranked 11th overall)

Anthony Messere broke through into the competitive world of freeride mountain biking in 2011 after his phenomenal 3rd place run at Red Bull Joyride during Crankworx Whistler. Since then he has been rolling with the big dogs and competing at the highest level of the FMB World Tour. A string of unfortunate injuries and technical issues has so far left him shy of his true potential but make no mistake, this Canadian ripper, still aged only 18, is one rider that should be taken very seriously for honours this season.

© Sterling Lorence/Red Bull Content Pool
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