In a remarkable demonstration of skill and audacity, renowned mountain biker and YouTube star Fabio Wibmer has successfully tackled the treacherous slopes of Kitzbühel’s legendary Streif, pushing the boundaries of what is possible on two wheels.
Wibmer, an East Tyrolean native, fulfilled a long-cherished dream as he descended the iconic Streif with his mountain bike, reaching breakneck speeds of 107 km/h. Executing drop jumps with a vertical ascent of 14 metres and soaring to a maximum jump distance of 36 metres, he showcased his unparalleled expertise and indomitable spirit.
The Streif, a notorious downhill ski racing course revered for its challenging sections – Start slope, Mausefalle, Steep slope, Hausbergkante, and Zielsprung – proved to be a formidable adversary even for a seasoned rider like Wibmer.
Having grown up just an hour away from Kitzbühel, Wibmer recalled watching ski stars hurtle down the Streif during the prestigious Hahnenkamm Races: “Every single winter I watched the Streif with my family. One of the most memorable moments for me was the so-called ‘Wall Ride’ on the Steep Slope safety fence by Bode Miller in 2008. It had a huge impact on me and that’s where this idea came from as I wanted to get the same feeling he had, but with me on a bike.”
Now, driven by the desire to pay homage to the world’s best skiers who had fearlessly navigated the daring slope before him, it was his turn to etch his name in history on that iconic mountainside. “The Streif race has always held great significance for me. The idea of realising a project on the Streif had been in the back of my mind for a while,” said Wibmer.
Months of meticulous preparation preceded this extraordinary feat. Wibmer and his dedicated team worked tirelessly for nearly two years to overcome the challenges posed by the icy terrain. Adapting the bike for effective navigation through the snow and ice-covered course was a top priority. Every detail was meticulously considered, from adjusting the bike’s suspension to creating 576 specialised spikes for both wheels for optimal grip on the snow and ice.
“Jumping from the start house onto the slope was very scary as I wasn’t sure how the bike would react,” says the From top to bottom, there’s full-on challenges everywhere. I had to be 100% focussed at every point.”
Wibmer’s freestyle triumph on one of the world’s most formidable downhill courses was captured on video for his YouTube channel. In the footage, he is seen executing a massive backflip from the top of the start gate, landing right onto the icy and snowy piste, and skillfully continuing his descent.
Reflecting on the project, Wibmer expressed his satisfaction, saying: “It’s an amazing feeling after conquering the Streif, nailing every jump, and creating a really cool video.”
Header image: Fabio Wibmer performs at the Streif in Kitzbuehel, Austria on January 14, 2024. Credit: Philip Platzer / Red Bull Content Pool