Race Report – Rad Race – Last Man Standing Heidbergring
Race Report – 8bar team rider Max at Rad Race – Last Man Standing Heidbergring
8bar Team Sponsors: adidascycling.de
Event Info: Rad Race
It is 11:15 am at the 15th of August, 2015. I throw my adidas bag into the car and start the engine. Destination: the RADRACE Last Man Standing at Heidbergring in Hamburg.
Unfortunately the highway is pretty much crowded and I get into a traffic jam which costs me over one hour. When I arrive I only have 30 minutes left and because of the stressful drive I’m not in racing mood at all. The first familiar faces, warm handshakes and hugs let my mood rise again quickly. Beside my team mates Stefan, Antonia, Sebastian and Tim I met some 8bar rookies* for the first time.
I am really impressed by the great organization of the Rad Race crew. Illuminated race course, free rolls for training, food and drink stalls … It’s all taken care of.
It is 3 pm and my first qualifying run is at 3:30 pm. After I picked up my starter package and registered myself for the race there is still a little time to check out the other starters and to warm up. It is not hard to notice that the peloton has grown stronger over the previous year. My training deficit makes me nervous… Luckily the Last Man Standing format** is one of my favorites because it is short and really technical.
I try to concentrate during the warm up – my tactic: Do not cross the finish line on fifth position! After I missed the sprint last year in one of my runs, this seems the only way to get ahead.
3:30 pm… it’s getting serious. 3, 2, 1 – Kick it! The first two laps are not scoring and the tempo is relaxed. However, from the 2nd lap everyone is fighting for a good position to avoid landing on the last places. I feel confident and secure… it disappears in the next moment as a spectator is crossing the race course with his bike right in the front of us. At this time I am in second position and after my bad fall during RADRACE Fixed42 I am just thinking: Not again! The rider in front crashes into the barrier and somehow I can avoid to crash. Behind me almost everyone crashes and our qualification round has to be restarted. Luckily no one is hurt and just some bikes are damaged.
When the qualifying got restarted I try to stay in the Top 4 all the time. The concept works and I succeed to qualify for the quarterfinal.
Until my next run at 7:40 pm I have plenty of time. Time to relax, eating and socialize. Because Rad Race at Heidbergring is a great event riders and teams come from all over Germany to participate and I am glad to meet my friends from Fixedpott, Good Times Roll, Messpack, U-Lock Justice Crew and a lot more! The excellent mood of everyone infects me and can not be alleviated by a little rain.
At the start of the quarter-final the course is wet … this causes problems for some riders and there are some crashes. I manage to keep myself out of trouble and make it into the top four riders.
Semi-Finals: I’m as pleased as surprised as I had not expected to get there. The starting field has been reduced up to 16 riders. I try not be intimidated because I’ve learnt from the previous runs enough confidence.
Unfortunately I have problems getting into my pedal at the start what makes me fall back. I can manage to ride to the first position when we cross the finish line first. It increases the euphoria but it also costs power. In the third lap I feel that my legs are empty… Anyway I give everything and try not to be last. When I cross the finish line there is noone behind me any more – I’m out!
Anyway I am satisfied and happy with my result and I my goal for next year are the finals. With a bit more training it will be possible – I’m sure!
All of my team mates make it into the final round. The final is very tactical and characterized by intense sprints. At the end Stefan finishes on 9th position and Sebastian wins the final sprint against Tim.
Twice 8bar on the podium … Congratulations!
*8bar rookies is an amateur racing team. For more infos check: facebook.com/8barrookies
**TheLast Man Standing format is as simple as effective. In each run there are 8-10 starter. The last rider in each round is out and the last four riders get into the next round. In the final there are as many rounds as riders and each round the last one has to leave until only one rider remains – the Last Man / Woman Standing.