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Andi Wittmann is most known as the creator and driving force behind the iconic big-mountain/slopestyle event Nine Knights. We took the opportunity to catch up with him just as he was getting ready to release Framed III, his latest seasonal edit produced by Mario Feil and Andi himself - and it turns out there is more to Andi than just big tricks. Check out the fresh-from-the-oven edit below, then tuck into our exclusive interview to find out more about what makes Andi tick and what's next for the sender from Germany.

“Freeride Mountainbike has so many facets – it doesn't matter if it's Big Mountain, Slopestyle or Enduro. It is all in there. The mix makes the sport!”


Vital: Who is Andi Wittmann?
AW: This is a good question. Andi Wittmann is an athlete who has been riding bikes since he was 12 years old, competed in dirtjump and slopestyle events for several years and is searching for new challenges all day every day. Anything that showcases the whole versatility of the sport interests me. At least I think that's who I am - I wanna push things forward and love the challenge!


Vital: You’ve obviously been associated with the Nine Knights stuff for quite some time, but is there more to you than just the big jumps?
AW: I know, I love the Suzuki Nine Knights concept and riding big, safely built jumps but my riding style and my way of thinking also changed a bit during the last years. These days I'm really into training, living healthy and I wanna ride all kind of bikes. This year I even got myself a racing licence and will take the start at some enduro events as well.


Vital: Where do you think mountain biking is headed now? We see an evolution towards going big on smaller bikes, there is the enduro movement in racing and of course there are also more and more bike parks around.
AW: It's crazy, slopestyle tricks are exploding, young kids are coming to the top and falling down as fast as they are moving up. Bikeparks are super good, due to the enduro evolution more and more people are riding singletrack and they definitely need official places to be able to keep doing what they wanna do!


Vital: How do you as a rider position yourself in this mix?
AW: I try to be as versatile as possible, that is exactly what keeps me motivated. A real mountain biker should be able to ride and enjoy several of the different aspects our amazing sport is offering us!

Vital: Your thoughts on Rampage? Will we see you ride it one day?
AW: Mixed was always a dream...if I would get the chance I think I would go for it.

Vital: So talk to us about this film project. What was the idea behind Framed?
AW: Showing the versatility of the sport on the basis of the different zones the mountains offer us. For each part of the mountains you need a different bike and different riding style - a really interesting fact in my eyes! Framed III is all about the versatility of the sport: it starts at over 3000m in the central Alps and winds its way down into the valleys below. On the way there's big mountain action on Italy’s highest summits, enduro in the most magical forests of the Engadin, big bike blasting on the Suzuki Nine Knights course at Mottolino Fun Mountain in Livigno and some insights into my newly built dirtjump / slopestyle spot. The intro and outro clearly show that we are hoping to leave behind the classical mountain bike edit format, as the mix of breathtaking nature and bike action is losing its uniqueness on the net. I am excited as to what's coming up in 2015!


Vital: On that topic, there are so many edits out there, how do you make yours stand out?
AW: True fact, every day good edits are floating around the internet and it certainly became easier to produce content. Mario and myself have very high ambitions with regards to putting out high-end edits and in this aspect, the story behind the action is an equally important thing!


Vital: What were some of the challenges encountered while filming for Framed III?
AW: Timing and weather! You need a crew of a few people to be at one place at one time, with nice weather. The massive snowfall in the italian Alps last year cost us lots of time.

Vital: Where do you go from here? What can we expect from Andi Wittmann next?
AW: Hehe, I have different things on my mind!! I definitely wanna do completely different stuff nobody else is doing. I have platforms like the Suzuki Nine Knights and my video projects, so I should be able to show you guys whats in my head - stay tuned!! :)

Photos by Markus Greber. Additional photo (Nine Knights castle) by Piotr Staron.

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iceman2058 iceman2058 2/6/2015 9:57 AM

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