World Championships

img_9641

World Championships

Altburon, Switzerland

Halfway between Zurich and Lucerne lies a small town in the rolling country side. There are a couple of restaurants, a store, and a Kawasaki dealership. Leading into town is a road coming down one of the rolling hills. From the top of the hill you can see the entire town.

The course begins at the top of the hill, has three hard hairpins. The second hairpin has a chicane immediately before the hairpin, makes it hard to set up for it. The third hairpin is close enough to the second that it usually doesn't require breaking. Following the hairpins, it is a high speed run tot he finish.

Thursday, July 14

For the first time in like forever, at an event, I woke up to clear skies and a dry ground. We drove up to the

Apparently someone brought the wrong poles. I am amazed they managed to get it partially erected.

After we got registered, and picked up our tshirt, we found out it was going to be a late start, sometime after 11 AM. We got two or three runs in before breaking for lunch. We had the best chase truck. It is a large semi, but doesn't have walls.

There was lunch at the sports hall. Sandwiches for cheap,

After lunch we proceeded to ride. And Ride. And Ride. The truck would pick us up near the water fountain,

img_9664
drive up the course and drop us at the top. Since the course is always closed, we would start riding almost as soon as we got off the truck. Since the lugers went first, I barely had time to get my gloves and helmet on before we were going. As we went down the course, the truck would drive around the alternative route and wait for us at the bottom. Most of the riders would be at the bottom by the time that truck got to the bottom. We would climb aboard, and head back to the top. The truck driver said we got 19 runs in!

We went to our hotel for diner, but dinner was also served in the sports hall. Dinner and breakfast was included in the entry fee. Most everyone was hanging out at the sports hall. 

Friday, July 15

Today was another nice day. We got started earlier than yesterday. Usually we beat the truck to the bottom.

img_9683
I lost count of how many rides we got in, in the morning. There was a race in France going on, so there weren't as many riders here as normal.

After lunch, we got a few practice runs in, before we start qualifying. But the day continue to heat up. Thankfully the water in the fountain was fairly cool.

img_9693

They had a timing system set up for qualifying.

and a clock at the bottom  that you could see as you crossed the finish line.

We spent a lot of time waiting at the bottom, for everyone to finish.

It was a long hot day. And it wasn't over. They wanted to do a couple of film runs,

Saturday, July 16

I woke up in the middle of the night to what I thought was a machine gun. Turns out it was raining pretty hard on the tin roof outside. It didn't sound good for race day. Of course the road was damp, and the sky overcast. Some people were making rain tires.

The weather was still iffy, so standup went first. I went up to the hairpins to watch the standup. They were selling drinks.

img_9776
Before each race there was one warm up run. Standup, gravity bikes and women's standup raced at the same time
img_9782
img_9786
img_9787
img_9788
img_9791
img_9797
img_9799
img_9800
img_9801
img_9802
img_9804
img_9805
img_9808
img_9810
img_9814
img_9816
img_9818
img_9820
img_9821
img_9830
img_9823
img_9824
img_9825
img_9827
img_9832
img_9833
img_9834
img_9837

 

We went up with the standup finals for our final buttboard warm up run. Buttboard was run as a 3 heat GP format.  At the end of each run we lined up in the order we finished.

img_9847
It had been threatening rain all afternoon, several times drops fell, but not enough to wet the road. As we rode up for the buttboard finals it started to rain, by the time we got to the top the road was wet. Three of us almost slid out in the first turn. Robert had easily won the first two heats, but he thought the format was by points, and took it easy in the rain. He thought he needed third or better to win, so took third. GP format is only the last race counts, so he ended up in third. And the road was dry by the time we got to the bottom.

We ran street luge next, also in the GP format.

It was time for the after party.

Standup:

img_9882
Siegrest, Schneider, Tellenbach

Women's Standup:

img_9883
Luginbühl, Vogler, Bucherler

Buttboard:

img_9885
Weber, Weigl, Lämmlein

Street Luge:

img_9886
Lämmlein, Marx, De Witt

Gravity Bike:

img_9889
Kessler, Ramirez

Dirt Surfers:

img_9890
Gut, Uysal, Hutter

After the prize giving, a punk rock bad came into play.

I don't know exactly what happened, fortunately it wasn't a broken arm, some sort of really bad bruising.

Altburon has a nice course, there are very few things to run into. Many people consider it a safe course. Yet we had two serious accidents. One was a dislocated shoulder, and the other was suspected to be a broken arm, but was just some bad bruising. Just goes to show that people can get hurt on any course. We got a tremendous amount of riding, but its too bad the French Championship was the same weekend.