This weekend I competed at the Red Bull Road Rage in Rengg, close to Entlebuch. What an experience - probably the craziest thing I’ve ever done on a bike. Think downhill racing, fourcross style, down a technically challenging and steep public road. On top of that add some wet corners and limited sight due to thick mist in the lower part of the course. 2.1 km at an average speed of well past 70 km/h, max in excess of 90.
Despite not taking full risk in the corners and not wearing any protective gear (most riders showed up in full downhill gear) I still managed to post the 7th fastest time in the qualification - which was an individual time trial. I must have hit the fastest top speed in the high speed stages of the course, since my cornering in the technical bits right after the start were cautious to say the least….
Only the best 32 riders (out of 94) got into the next round with 4 starting simultaneously from a bmx gate. My plan was to ride defensively down the hairpins, then attack when the fast part of the course approached. So after being first out of the gate I lost a couple of of positions in the next few turns, which didn’t worry me so far… Unfortunately one of the riders in my heat overdid things and crashed hard right in front of me when trying to pass by. I had to hit the brakes to avoid falling over him. By the time I got back on track the other two made more than 100m - something I couldn’t make up in the remaining course.
Still, that was some of the most fun I had in racing and I’m glad I got out of it back alive and fine (unlike the poor fella who crashed and ended up in the hospital). Thanks to my fast qualification time I got still 17th overall.
Also, I met some of my all time favourite cyclists: Frederic Moncassin - Tour de France Sprinter extraordinaire of the late nineties. He made a comeback specifically for this event!
Some video impressions (I’m the guy in yellow around the 55sec to 1:05 mark)
Sorry for the delayed update, recently I’ve been stuck in bed with a nasty kidney infection… However, a few weeks before Day 1 of the Swiss Track Championships took place at Oerlikon. I was competing in the sprints qualifications, where I managed to post the fastest 200m time. In the proceeding first round I beat my competitor to advance directly into the semi final.
Next up was the 1000m time trial. Without any specific training for the physically hardest track discipline there is, I even happened to score a medal! Pretty happy with third place considering the circumstances. If the race had only 2 laps - the result would have been even better!
Day 2 was rained off and will take (weather permitting) on September 8. I hope my health will be good enough to compete by then!
Yesterday, under scorching heat we had the first Keirin tournament of this season. I haven’t felt as bad in a loong time after the first heat, where I took off right after the moto left. I really should warm up better sometimes.
Still feeling sick, I had to go to the starting line again for the final. Simon Dennler was kind enough to film the action:
5th of May: Track season opening at Oerlikon. The first Tuesday night racing of 2009 turned out to be quite successful. I managed to score top of the podium in the 1.6 km scratch race. After I won the 1st heat comfortably from the front, I was able to do the same in the final too! In any case, my girlfriend was very happy about the flowers… =)
Snowy times! I still don’t quite get it why track cycling supposedly is to be a winter sport now (thanks to the UCI), but in Copenhagen it sure was! Too bad I forgot my digital camera back at home…
With snow covered roads and Danish buses not having any winter tires(?!), it was all hit or miss with transfer between the track and the hotel. Oh, and we did some racing too!
In the Keirin (my first at WorldCup level) I was quite a bit tense before the start, as I got French rocket Gregory Baugé in my heat, plus I had the “luck” to draw number seven at the start too. With no other option I tried a long sprint with an early attack to the front, but my stamina didn’t quite let me allow to hold off the pack to the finish line.
Second was a hard task too, with Ross Edgar and Travis Smith in my heat and only the first rider to advance to the next round. Again, an aggressive early move didn’t quite pay out as Edgar was just too fast and drew Smith with him in his wake.
In hindsight, I was more or less pleased with my first WorldCup Keirin effort - it was a great learning experience and I found out I wasn’t really that far of the pace at international top level at all. (17th place overall) Oh, and I didn’t crash like quite a few other guys, including Olympic and World Champion Chris Hoy. I guess he wasn’t used to see the superfast French guys coming around him quite so easily…
Next day up was the sprint - but to be honest I’d rather forget about that one. After the wind up for the 200m time trial I actually managed to clip the saddle with my tracksuit while getting back onto the saddle. As a result I couldn’t get back on it properly and was just hanging there on the tip. It’s no miracle my time did suffer accordingly…
At least my bike looked posh with the posh Mavic wheels from our national team:
Josef Herzog sent me a few nice pics of the track in Oerlikon yesterday. This one is especially funny: A sprinter suffering among enduro guys in the team pursuit… Well, at least we made it with Hirslanden 2 to the fourth place in the Swiss championship. Well done boys!
Last week I competed at the Sprint Tournament during the 3-Day Race in Aigle. My Form was ok, but I didn’t manage to win as many races as I hoped to. At least I could score a fine photo-finish in the sprint final, 2nd in the Keirin, a victory in the elimination race as well as third place in the UCI sanctioned 1000m TT.
I would thank the organiser for the excellent conditions and the generous housing. Racing is fun like that!
Yesterday we had the last Tuesday evening meeting in Zürich 2008. Like the week before, the weather wasn’t very cosy with temperatures below 10 degrees. Still labouring with a little cold I only competed in the Keirin event - but I won both nonetheless in the preliminary and the finals. In order to avoid all hassles and infights I took the front right from the start and managed to control the field from the front. The Japanese call this tactic ‘Senko’.
It’s a shame I only managed to compete in one Keirin at the Offene Rennbahn this year - It was a lot of fun! =)
Despite having a cold and some minor problems with my new bike I was having a great time in Dudenhofen last week. The racing was awesome and it went better than I expected.
I lost only 0.3 seconds to Vice Olympic Champion Jason Kenny in the 250m flying lap time trial and forced Ross Edgar into a photo finish at our match up.
In the Keirin the brits did their usual tactics - taking the spot behind the derny right from the start. With 3 laps to go I passed by the rest and tried to be in the front as soon as the derny leaves. But of course Ross and Jason went full also and forced me to go the long way around. I don’t remember the last time my legs burnt so badly!
With about one lap to go I had to give in and settle back into the pack again. Well, at least I tried!
Roger Klenk sent me some nice pictures for you guys to enjoy! Plus some snapshots by my lovely girlfriend.
I’ll be competing at the traditional Sprinter-Meeting in Dudenhofen this Friday. Invited are some of the best track sprinters in the world - I can’t wait to measure myself up tho those truly heavy hitters! The following article is directly pulled from morgenweb.de:
Dudenhofen: Britischer Olympiasieger beim Sprintermeeting
Dudenhofen/Pfalz. Ein erlesenes Fahrerfeld wird am Freitag (19.30 Uhr) in Dudenhofen beim 15. Radsport-Sprintermeeting zum 100jährigen Bestehen des RV 08 Dudenhofen auf der schnellen 250-Meter-Zementbahn starten. Von den britischen Olympia-Sprintern wird Jason Kenny dabei sein, der in Peking Gold im Teamsprint und Silber im Sprint gewann. Der zweite Engländer, Edgar Ross, holte in Peking Silber im Keirin. Beide Fahrer werden seit Jahren von dem Dudenhofener Jan van Eijden als Techniktrainer betreut. Beim Keirin-Wettbewerb trifft der Olympiafünfte Carsten Bergemann unter anderem auf Lokalmatador Benjamin Wittmann, den Schweizer Fabian Keiser und die beiden BDR-Kadersprinter Daniel Rackwitz und Georg Fischer (Schwerin). Zu einem weiteren Höhepunkt wird das internationale Steherrennen werden. Dabei wird Europameister Timo Scholz (Leipzig) auf Olympiasieger Stefan Steinweg (Böhl-Iggelheim) treffen, der mit diesem Rennen seine Bahnkarriere beenden wird. Ebenfalls am Start ist der deutsche Spitzenfahrer Mario Vonhof (Schwabach). (dpa)