Red Bull Road Rage
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)
Small final (5-8)
The race in the press: