words by Dennis Westphal
On day 2&3 the rumour of a dry Thursday started spreading and sure enough when we woke up it was dry.
Three freerides before racing were given. This competition has always been using car tyres instead of haybales. Only one problem. They had been storing a lot of water inside. And so when people started crashing, all that water came running out and over the track. The corners were dry to semi-wet all day.
Also, spectators were jumping over the car tyres to release even more water.
Needless to say it was very sketchy riding. Coming into corners at full speed not knowing if it was going to be wet or dry was no good.
I slid out in two of my three warm ups and realised it was going to be hairy.
In my first heat I was up against Early team mate Mikael “KULA” Jensen and two Norwegian super groms.
I kicked off for the lead and held it through the first two corners and past the waterfall. On the long straight the guys started drafting me hard.
“KULA” who is easy enough to kick away from has a deadly tuck and weighs 110kgs!
He is built of steel and builds speed from there and on the straight he passed me just before entering the first hairpin. The supergrom came flying past too!!
That put me in third coming out of the corner but I kicked out hard and took the last corner perfectly to get me in position to draft both of them.
Luckily I got a good draft and managed to win the heat side by side with “KULA”.
I was stoked to come from behind and take it.
Man the level of riding has really increased over here as well. And thing is there is so many more guys on a higher level that no heat is easy.
Second heat was a final already. “KULA”, Alex Lyngaas, me and another ripper.
Alex is famous for his moose kicks and was out first.
I was following him close all the way to the finishing line and started drafting him for the win.
Side by side we’re going to go through I thought.
Last second “KULA” came up next to me from nowhere and so we were the three of us going side by side. I’m in the middle and end up getting knocked out by a wheel!
“KULA” advanced to the semis and Alex took out podium spot no.3 so getting beaten by those guys was cool.
Best knock out ever!
The semis were amazing.
Jacko and Switzer against Alex and Johan Wendt Simonsen.
Jacko AND Pat crashed and we had a pure Norwegian final!
TB, Alex, Simonsen and Ali Nas (Downhill master from Iraq).
Alex and Simonsen crashed so TB came through with Ali behind him!
TB finally won the one competition he has always wanted to win. Well deserved. What bliss for him and us and all the Norwegians. Took the crown home boys!
So sick to have been part of this year’s festival. The best riding I have seen Norwegians do ever.
Needless to say the party was going to be out of control. TB downed three pints in about a minutes time. We were spinning him in the air afraid we would be covered in spew. And then the benchgame was on.
It escalated to five benches on top of each other. Five people at the same time. TB took out the bench and the party title well.
Man!! That guy would have won the election of president that day… Unstoppable!!
So all is well, nobody got really hurt. Just the goos soreness of riding for four days constantly.
Another day…another dollar.
[notes] below are a few videos Dennis put us onto, they are not his but give a good view of the course and racing. Second one has some good crashes]