Milka Wheels of Speed World Downhill challenge, powered by Shimano
The race is held on the track they used for the World Cup races a few years ago and is part of the Sympatex Bike Festival, a huge event like the German equivalent of Sea Otter. The race itself is well organized with some great prize money – they even provide accommodation for the invited pro riders!
The track is a bit different to the usual DH tracks, it is pretty pedally at the top with huge jumps and some big drops then it is steeper in the middle section with some good turns and then flat out fast as you drop in into the final field section with even more big jumps. With speeds of around 40 mph, when it’s dry the jumps are actually too small and the riders were having to squash them. The track is fun for the riders with the high speeds and big jumps also making it great viewing for the spectators who lined the track from top to bottom.
Qualifying was on Saturday and the finals were on Sunday.
Chris Kovarik had a great run to place 3rd in the very competitive field and winning a nice big cheque for 2000 Euros. Chris used his power and jumping skills to take 3rd on his Burgtec flat pedals in front of previous winner Filip Polc and Matti Lehikoinen.
Gee Atherton took the win over Mick Hannah by 100th second and bagging the 6000 Euro first prize.
Matt Simmonds had a good ride to place 13th and unfortunately Ruaridh’s run of bad luck continued as he came into the final field on a great run, he through his bike into a rut in a corner only to find that the rut had completely gone and he had a big spectatular crash. Ruaridh was fine though apart from a few more grazes and he delighted the crowd with a huge whip over the massive table top.
The women’s field wasn’t as as large as the mens field, I think with the course having huge jumps some of the girls are not too keen – not our team rider Claire Buchar though! Claire is not only good at jumping but the bigger the better… she got huge cheers from the crowd as she cleared all the big jumps with ease and she won the women’s category pretty convincingly – nice one Claire.
We are now in Maribor Slovenia for Round 5 of the Nissan UCI World Cup this weekend. The weather is sunny and hot at the moment. It should be a great race here, especially as all the riders love this track.
Chris Koavrik. Willingen 2009
Picture by Sebastian Kessler
1. Claire Buchar (Can) Chain Reaction Cycles 2:09.1
2. Antje Kramer (Ger) 06.68
3. Louisa Steen (Gbr) 34.21
4. Ana Raecke (Ger) 48.86
5. Krisztina Szabo (Ger) 50.66
1. Gee Atherton (Gbr) Animalcommencal.Com 1:51.2
2. Mick Hannah (Aus) GT Bicycles 00.01
3. Chris Kovarik (Aus) Chain Reaction Cycles 01.15
4. Filip Polc (Slo) Kenda Tomac 01.33
5. Matti Lehikoinen (Fin) MS Evil Racing 01.60
6. Andrew Neethling (RSA) Trek World Racing 01.97
7. Steve Smith (Can) MS Evil Racing 02.00
8. Kyle Strait (USA) Specialized Team America 02.02
9. Johannes Fischbach (Ger) Team Ghost International 02.60
10. Bryn Atkinson (Aus) GT Bicycles 02.83
11. Justin Leov (NZl) Trek World Racing 02.96
12. Fabien Cousinié (Fra) 03.26
13. Matt Simmonds (Gbr) Chain Reaction Cycles 03.88
14. Duncan Riffle (USA) Duncan Riffle Racing 04.13
15. Nico Vink (Bel) Dolphin-Trek Mtb Racing Team 04.63
16. Nathan Rennie (Aus) Gravity Group 04.70
17. Mitch Delfs (Aus) Gravity Group 05.29
18. Brad Benedict (USA) Duncan Riffle 06.04
19. Nino Antic (Cro) 06.49
20. Jonty Neethling (RSA) 06.70
21. Andreas Sieber (Ger) Solid Aclass Factory Team 07.32
22. Kevin Aiello (USA) GT Bicycles 07.43
23. Maximilian Bender (Ger) 08.07
24. Logan Binggeli (USA) KHS Racing Team 08.41
25. Niko Mullay (USA) Specialized Team America 08.59
26. Kristof Lenssens (Bel) 08.93
27. Steven Rollnik (Ger) 10.36
28. Marcel Basener (Ger) 10.71
29. Felix Wunderlich (Ger) 10.96
30. Cody Warren (USA) Specialized Team America 10.97
31. Tobias Sieber (Ger) 11.15
32. Philipp Metzger (Ger) 12.17
33. Dominik Mai (Ger) 12.21
34. Jan-Sören Frey (Ger) 13.10
35. Tommy Herrmann (Ger) 14.41
36. Thomas Vanderham (Can) Evil Bikes 16.00
37. Ruaridh Cunningham (Gbr) Chain Reaction Cycles 28.18
Team Manager – ChainReactionCycles/Intense
source: Nigel Page