DLL (Downhill Longboard Liga), means something like the German Downhill Skateboard League. The league is held in 6 races and the best 5 race positions are added in the end for the final points! This previous weekend was the second race of this season. I-Berg in Thüringen/Germany was the place to be for the German Downhill Scene. And a lot of great riders attended this very nice organized event.
Most of the competitors arrived on Friday and there was already the first party going on, obviously me and my buddies came from far, far away from a little country called Austria and it took us quite a long time to drive up to the North. As we arrived the party was nearly ended, but nevertheless, we had our own good time while driving and got really excited about our fuel situation from time to time. (Germans, you need more gas stations) When we arrived late, some of us were happy to fall into their tents and catch some good sleep.
Saturday the 22nd was the first event day. Registration in the morning, followed by freeriding and race-to-quali heats (which is a part of the leagues system) starting around midday. We had like 30-something quali heats in five quali-runs, what makes more then 120 riders for the qualifying. Quite a lot to do for Mr. DLL, Michael Eimer Mayer.
After qualis, we had again some smooth freerides and the day ended with lunch time and watching the Germans playing soccer at the World Champions in Brasil. Don’t ask me about the score, I can’t tell you anything about soccer, but a party was going on, we had some safety meetings for Sundays race and everybody had a good time in the party tent after soccer.
Sunday was race day. The course was grippy and you didn’t need to slide to slow down before entering a curve. Kind of flat and sweepy at the first half with a little right corner, followed by another sweeper before entering the big lefty. Most of the riders footbraked a little or air braked and carved a little before gripping the left corner. The second half started right after, keep tucking and try to get down to the finish line first, before someone drafts from behind!
At I-Berg, the German juniors and German Ladies Championships were held off, and so on Sunday, the race started with the juniors. Followed by the Ladies and Buttboard. The skate level at the juniors was really high and for the second time Philipp Schikor won the Juniors race. Philipp won in front of Tim Gassert, Pan Diemer and fourth placed skater Fabian Krebs.
Ladies level high as well, as there were foreign girls from Belgium and Sweden. Kristina Engstrand (SWE) won in front of Jasmijn Hanegraef (BEL) and Ann-Kristin Maier (GER). Third placed Ann-Kristin was best German placed rider and got the title of German Downhill Skateboard Champion.
The Open Class started with a 64-bracket around afternoon. Jürgen Gritzner from Austria and Sebastian Hertler from Germany were the two favourites for the win.
The semi-final heats were highly-competitive – in the first heat Jürgen Gritzner, Stefan Kolpatzik, Oli Dehmel and Joe Baldwin fought for the final ticket. In the second heat Quirin Ilmer, Sebastian Hertler, Alex Dehmel and Leon Ritter had the chance for the final heat. Both favourites managed to race to the final that was completed by Stefan Kolpatzik and Alex Dehmel. The final was full of awesome downhill skating experience, Hertler in first and Gritzner in second tucked to the left corner in the middle of the course, Hertler managed to grip the corner in tight, Gritzner came close but lost balance and crashed. Hertler came out a few meters in front and finished save at first place. Kolpatzik finished second, A. Dehmel third and Gritzner fourth. The small final won Ilmer in front of Ritter, Baldwin and O. Dehmel.
All in all a blast of a race and freeride weekend in Germany with a lot of great racing heats, fun to watch, fun to skate and a good time with the downhill family in Germany.
Pictures and words by Markus Knoblechner – MK Media
HP Link – http://www.mk-media.at