When: Sat 16th of February 2008
Where: Kleinwalsertal, Austria
On Saturday, the fourth Iron Night took place in the idyllic Kleinwalsertal but the mellow atmosphere didn´t prevent a hard battle for the first places.
Sorry for being so late on this but if you read my blog yesterday you understand that I wanted to wait for better, professional, pictures until popping this event report online! So here we go...
When we arrived at the Kleinwalsertal on Friday afternoon, the riders were already riding in the Crystal Ground Park that is located at the bottom of the Kanzelwandbahn and the set up for the Iron Night 2008, a 2 star TTR event that is part of the Wir Schnanzen contest series, looked amazing: The obstacles were in perfect condition and there was a rail for everyone - down and high rail, kinked and elephant box, a wallride and some more rails that looked so fancy I don´t know what they are called. After a long afternoon in the park the riders got ready for a spectacular night shooting: After one and a half hours many pictures were taken and some riders injured, like Rome rider Chris Cab who had to capitulate after kissing the curved box with his tailbone. But nevertheless it was a great possibility for the rookies to show their skills in a "non-contest" atmosphere and maybe get a few pictures in the mags.
On Saturday it was time for the big show: More than 45 riders tried to get through the qualification in the afternoon and it was a hard battle as only 8 would proceed to the semi finals. Friedl May, last year´s overall winner of the Wir Schanzen series, was a bit unlucky, hurt his hand at one of the rails and didn´t make it into the semi finals. The same (except for the injury) happened to Aaron Holterman, another hard ripping rookie. But this didn´t make the semi finals and finals less impressive: Guys like Florian Buergel, Daniel Rajcsanyi, Daniel Matt oder Maurinus Schuster went big in the semi finals, sticking some freaky-deaky boardslides, lipslides, nosepresses, pretzels, 270s in´s and out´s and despite minus 12 degrees at 8 p.m. the crowd was waiting for the super finals, the head-to-head battle.
In the end it was Thomas Schwarz who took home some money and precious points for the overall ranking of the Wir Schanzen series, followed by Sebastian Geiger and the young Daniel Rajcsanyi. But don´t forget the ladies! They were also showing some pretty impressive runs and it was a close call between Lisa Schaber from Innsbruck, local Hannah Goettgens and Miriam Hoffmann from Munich but in the end Lisa was the lucky chapette.
But this exciting final did not end the evening: Hundreds of spectators squalled into the contest area for the Best Trick Contest on a kicker to gap to down box. Just one word: SCARY! The boys went mad and showed everything they got. Some local dude even tried a backflip - it was sooo close and he almost smashed his head on the edge of the box. But in the end it was Flo Buergel who took the title home with his hardway 270 to frontside boardslide.
At the end I have to give the organizers a big up as this 2 star contest was almost as professional as a 6 star event - the park was in more than perfect conditions, innovations like the night shooting took away some pressure from the riders and gave them the chance to get pics in the mags without wearing contests bibs and the whole contest was just fun for both, the riders and the spectators.
Iron Night 2008 men:
1. Thomas Schwarz, Mindelheim, GER 2. Sebastian Geiger, Frastanz, AUT 3. Daniel Rajcsanyi, Geretsried, GER
Iron Night 2008 women: 1. Lisa Schaber, Innsbruck, AUT 2. Hannah Goettgens, Kempten, GER 3. Miriam Hofmann, München, GER
If you want to read more about the Iron Night 2008 or the Wir Schanzen contest series, go to www.suzuki-wirschanzen.de.
More Wir Schanzen stops:
Night on Snow (2 star TTR), March 1, 2008 - Alspitzbahn, Nesselwang The O'Neill Barbecue (3 star TTR), March 22, 2008 - Fellhorn, Oberstdorf Stubai Jam (1 star TTR), April 5, 2008 - Stubaier Gletscher, Tirol
- Melanie Schönthier