|Sweden World Cup Åre ( SWE)|
Everything is packed. I?m traveling to Sweden by plane: Basel - Munich - Stockholm - Östersund. The flight was ok. Then I go to Östersund city by bus. It?s around 19:00 and unfortunately the bus to Åre is leaving at 22:15. What should I do in this dead little city for three hours? I ask for the right direction to Åre and start walking. People told me it won?t be easy to hitchhike. That was my motivation. After a few kilometers the first car stops and I can relax a little bit. But there?s still 80km to go. But then I get one car after another. The last guy was very friendly and dropped me right at Åre Fiällby. Apartment 305? the Team SC8 (Shrek, Nina, Seb, Adrien) is here already. We eat some soup and bread. We go out for a little slide and skate session. It?s not getting dark here in Sweden. Nevertheless we go to bed after ?midnight? ? tired and happy!
07:00 ringringring - get up lazy boys. It?s raining and the roads are all wet. Shower, breakfast and then we go to the riders meeting. I pay the 450SEK (50EURO) starting fee and sign up for the race. Luis and Dalua from Brazil are here too. It starts to dry. We?re driving to the racecourse, all very motivated! Start, long straight line, slippery big right hand 180° turn, long straight line with a chicane and a flat section, very big 180° left hand turn, finish. The thing that follows here is hot: a steep long high speed straight line. But this is not included in the race. Unfortunately the road is wet again. Rain, sun, rain, sun, rain... We decide not to ride. Seb and Adrien just bought a fishing rod. We went to the river. Unfortunately we didn?t catch any fish. By the way the landscape is very nice: lot?s of trees and nice green fields. After a few hours we?re going back to the apartment. It?s raining like crazy. The first big accident happens. A french streetluger crashed into the guard rails on a strai ght line. Diagnosis: broken thigh neck, open! We go to the supermarket and buy lots of food. Back home we watch some TV and cook the dinner. The TV program sucks, just like the weather!
08:00, good morning, it?s still raining. We drive to the racecourse anyway, still hoping for better weather. Bassi and his down711 crew is riding and sliding the wet road. We go back home and eat pasta. In the afternoon we relax at the swimming pool and sweat the hell out in the sauna. Adrien found a miniramp and a small bouldering wall. This was the 2nd rainy day.
Blue sky, sun! Yes let?s go and ride! We?re riding in 6men heats the whole day long. I?m riding with Shrek and Adrien very often. The Brazilians are fast too. After practice Adrien, Shrek and I (also known as ?Le Team Casque Rouge?) skate the race course from the very top to the bottom. It?s all about drafting. The road isn?t very technical, but, however very interesting.
I changed from Abec11 83mm flywheels 78A to 75A. I?m very happy with the softer wheels. They roll pretty fast. I?m getting used to drafting. Tactics are very important in this race. Where are the weak spots of other racers? Where should I attack? Where should I pass someone? Lots of questions! We?re riding the time trials in the afternoon. The timing system has a mechanical barrier at the start and light barrier at the finish. The time measuring is not released by the rider?s leg, but by hand from the starter girl. We got one of the most precise timing systems, how it?s used at skiing world cups, but we cannot use it. I?m a bit disappointed! After the first run I?m on the 2nd place, right behind Bassi. Adrien takes 3rd place. Aki goes to fast and crashes in the last turn. So he?s got a really bad time. Tom Edstrand doesn?t get a time at all. The timing system is completely out of order now. The volunteers want to go home at 17:00. So the second time trial is cancelled. Too bad!
Today is the race day! The weather is very nice. First we get a warm-up run and then we start directly with the 4men heats. Originally it was planned to ride 6men heats for standup, gnarly! This means that only 48 riders would have been qualified. But then the race officials decided to qualify all 61 riders and use 4men brackets, because there was only one time trial. For me it?s getting hard in the semifinal already. I?m riding with Silva Douglas (BRA), Aki von Glasow (CH) and Adrien Barat (FRA). That?s almost like a final. My start is pretty good. I?m first. Aki and Adrien are right behind me. I know they?ll pass me, sooner or later. They pass me both and I can get into their draft. Adrien is sliding too much in the left hander and so I advance to the final. The final four are: Bassi, Aki, I and Jibo. I never heard of him before but he really did a good job. Bassi pushes hard. I can catch Aki?s draft. My line in the right hander is fast and just as sticky as in the semifinal. Bassi and Aki seem to have a plan, but I have a plan too. Bassi?s air braking is much too early. Aki and I pass him on the inside. That was a good drift. The finish line came much too early once again. I?m on 2nd place. What a race! I?m very happy - happy with the 2nd place and happy that I didn?t crash. Petter makes some phone calls for me and finally I got a taxi from Åre Fiällby to Östersund Airport. The last possible train has already left! Shower, pizza, prize giving, party!
We go back home at 03:00. I get all my stuff together and everything is packed soon. My French SC8 room mates are leaving to Stockholm Nyköping after 04:00. I go to bed until the alarm rings at 08:20. My taxi comes at 09:15 and I arrive at the Airport just in time. Shortly after noon I land in Stockholm Arlanda. I?m very hungry because I didn?t have any breakfast. So I get myself something to eat: pizza, salad, Swedish crackers, coffee and a glass of water. After a few hours chilling at the airport my journey goes on. First I?m flying to Copenhagen, then to Zurich. From there I take to train to Liestal. Tired!
What a week, what a race! Cool people, hard racing action!
1st Aki von Glasow, CH, (Fibretec)
2nd Martin Siegrist, CH, (Airflow Skateboards, Globe Shoes, Abec11)
3rd Bassi Haller, GER, (Indiana)