When I go to Europe I never know what to expect. Sometimes you’ll show up to a comp and the jumps will look like a million bucks and ride like the worst jumps you’ve ever seen. Sometimes they will look horrible and be so much fun. Vienna was a combination of both. When I showed up the first thing that I saw was this giant Lincoln Log stack and it turned out to be a roll in. It was built completely out of giant logs that were straight from the lumber mill. Then I saw the jumps. They were the most perfectly shaped landings I have ever seen in my life, squared to every corner and all the way to the ground. The jumps made you forget you were in a parking lot. The best part about these jumps though was that they rode amazing too. They were pretty straightforward, very smooth and not very technical but that made for an amazing show. The fact that everyone was so comfortable on the jumps allowed us to go wild.
In the end the only concern ended up to be the weather. Crazy storm clouds would blow in at an instant and out as fast as they came. They were able to cover the jumps completely and so when the weather changed back it was always go time. That is always the most stressful way to do a comp because you sit in a tent for 2 hours, cold and wet, then suddenly its sunny and its time to strut your stuff in your finals run. But that’s the way the cookie crumbles, sometimes so you’ve gotta deal with what you’ve got. The wind was still a factor but luckily I got a solid run in for a fourth place.
Some crazy runs went down, some bad crashes, and some lucky saves. I gotta note Andi Wittmen, Sam Pilgrim, and Martin Soderstrum, for throwing it down hard in the best trick. That was sick to watch. The crowd was amazing and the city was just as crazy.
I should have done more research on the buildings because when I got my mom a magnet at the airport, every single magnet had the building we were in front of on it! I’m under the influence its a government building not unlike the white house. Only in Europe would they allow a mountain bike comp to go on at a place of that nature. Awesome!!
The after party was amazing! I started the night at a little hole in the wall wine-o restaurant with a gentlemen playing the guitar and singing all sorts of native music to Austria. It was really funny. Then on the walk to my hotel in the rain I was captured by 20 of the other riders that were going on a bus to a party. So I went and shredded the dance floor for a few hours and held tribute to Michael Jackson where I ran around the entire club and made everyone hold their hat on their chest to show respect. It was classic. Now that I think about it I’m glad I didn’t get punched in the face. Overall it was a great trip. Austria won my heart for the second time this year. Maybe Il’l go for a 3rd.
PHOTO CREDIT: SIMON NIEBORAK
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THANKS TO THE SYNDICATE SPONSORS:
SANTA CRUZ BICYCLES
SRAM, ROCKSHOX, AVID, TRUVATIV
TROY LEE DESIGNS
AND JAMIE’S PERSONAL SPONSORS:
GIRO HELMETS, EYEWEAR & GLOVES