So, my small Euro-trip is over… tons of photos, tons of work didn’t get done and now it’s time to write it all down!
This year, I managed to visit two world cup races in Europe – Almabtrieb, Germany and Kozakov Challenge, Czech Republic. Last year I was at Kozakov, where I found out about Almabtrieb and this year the last one was under IDF – so I didn’t think twice about going there!
This is my second year in downhill, so I paid more attention to my equipment. Thanks to my sponsors – NevskySurf Boardshop for wheels and protection, SuperApe for custom deck, Rey Trucks and Puma!
With all this on my shoulders I came to Munchen where my friend picked me up. While eating McDonalds we saw Alex Tongue trying to find a train to the spot. We could not leave the poor American guy in German lands so we took him with us. Ended up getting a bit lost in the village but Stephan Risch was cruising around on his bike and showed us the right way! While we were viewing the track, we met another organizer – Oliver Gires, who put us in his car and explained all points of the track. It was very nice of him!
The track starts quite slow and mild, the first remarkable curve is a right, then it goes down and comes to a sharp left turn. After that stretch comes a fast left-right turn, where I learned a nice technique! Next is the fastest part, very long and steep!!! Getting into the Risch Curve, which is the left turn where was all the action… and then the finish line.
The track is nice, wide, quite mild but fast! As one guy said “Sketchy wenn nicht kontrolliert”! I was using mostly airbrakes and footbrakes, as most of the lightweight riders there. So the track was awesome! Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time and enough runs. We had to go strictly in 4 person packs, with gaps and long lunch breaks. In a day we managed max 5-7 runs, with all the waiting in abnormal heat: sun, buses etc. In the evening we could not make big parties because of the neighborhood.
However, we did manage to have great fun! Thanks to the course marshals who did very funny competitions at the evening in the camp. And of course there were Parties! Those who wanted to – did have crazy nights! I joined them on the last evening, that was sick!
But, coming back to the race! We were 16 girls, all quite strong! Elena, Tamara, Spoky, other girls from Germany, Austria, Spain… I got to the semi final. Pushed and kept the second place the whole way! Could not get to finals as girls were just too strong. And went to the small final for 5-8 place. There I made a huge mistake that still hurts my body… I was third, in a pack with all the girls… but that speed was just too much for me at that moment, I lost it and instead of opening up a bit – I got lower to stay in the pack… then I got in one of those black hot patches on the road that feels like water when hot, the board wobbled and I flew away on the fastest part of the track. I smashed the wooden fence with my leg, hit my head and back… for some time I could not get up, but fortunately I was okay. Course Marshal and Ambulance didn’t let me continue the race and I stayed on the track till the end of the race day. As I found out later, Maga fell in the Risch Curve… so my stupid bravery was absolutely useless. They sent me to the hospital, but thankfully I was able to continue partying and racing! My backbone still hurts though… but that’s downhill, baby!
As I said, the final Party was sick! In the morning we planned to go with a Norwegian dude to Prague, but he drunk some Swedish poison XXX so I had to drive some time until he got back in life, haha!
We found a hostel in Prague and I was melting in shower and Wi-Fi the whole evening! Next day we were on the way to Kozakov and in the evening, I was walking on my favourite track!
Well, I can say that after Almabtrieb the first freeride on Kozakov was tough! So fast at the beginning, so sharp on turns, so narrow, like flying in a tube! Last year I had nothing to compare with and it was quite a normal track for me. In comparison it was so scary, haha. However, on the next freeride day, my eyes and head got used to it and I was feeling more than comfortable there! More speed, more technique, tactic, equipment and so on! We had looooots of riding! It was rainy quite often and we had to wait until it dried, but we still managed to have 10-15 run a day! That was so much more than Almabtrieb, we could go in a big pack, one after the other, no lunch break – perfect!
Girls were also very strong here! Some of them also came from Almabtrieb. I did quite bad in qualification and got 8th place with timing. But I felt I could not do better that day. I still was experimenting with techniquie and sometimes it ended up with a crash, and we didn’t have lot’s of qualy runs that day. So I was losing about 4 sec from the time I aimed for.
Next day was a lot of riding again, in braket C for me, and then freeriding!
Race day was the last day. I was so tired of skating that motivation got low. I just wanted to finish it. They made lots of freeriding that day and put women race at the end… so all girls were super tired. I decided not to repeat my Almabtrieb mistakes this time! I got to the half final quite easy. In the half final I was with Elena, Lyde and Emina. Well, no comments for Elena. Lyde was quite a fast technical girl! Emina was I think like me, but qualy time better… I had a mistake on a push.. Was too close to Lyde and we start to disturb each other on the push. That gave a chance to Elena and Emina to skate in front. Then I see that Lyde and Emina were too close to each other, that could not end up good. I opened up and was carefully following them. On the big left I saw that Lyde is down, and (!!!) Elena also!!! That was very unusual!
Emina took the advantage and skate far away. I overcome Lyde and Elena, but Elena manage to get in front anyway… So I ended 3rd and got to the small final. Small final was even more interesting. I pushed second after Lyde. Then Kristina and Maga overtook me on the straight, but I saw that they are going too fast, 6 at the evening, we were tired… I let them go, and was simply watching. Maga stayed on the left, Kristina stayed on the right… I was following Lyde and on the finish line she opened up a little bit, and I closed my tuck as much as I could – I overtook her on the finish line and won the small final, getting the 5th place in Kozakov 2014. And I am happy with this result!
Mens final won the guy I know quite well from the last year – Sebastian Hertler. Young boy Connor got second and was definitely the star of that day!!! Patrick came third.
And of cause, famous Kozakov Parties !!! We had two main Parties. Green Party on the day before, with all kind of green cloth and accessories. And the last day party with huge amount of people and awesome music, that was cool!
So, as a result, these two events gave me more experience, raised my technique, tactics, and of course showed me that I have a long way to go! Unfortunately, I am not able to travel so much and take part in most of the races. But my next trip is going to be in September to Hawaii, USA and Angies Curves! I am looking forward! But now – work,work!