8bar – Last One Standing – Berlin Tempelhof – Race Recap
written by Hagen Lindner
Photos: Stefan Haehnel / recentlie.com
you have to get up early…
It was a beautiful saturday that we spent together at the former airport “Tempelhof”. As early as 6am we met to set up the course: We had to carry old car tires, fences, stretch barrier tape and had to bring all the stuff in position, you need to have a fun race event held in a public place.
Before noon most of the 70 registered riders showed up to get there starter kit with goodies from our supporters ASS Savers, Keirin Berlin, Continental. The first spectators set up there camping blankets close to the course, one thing everyone really loved about the track: it was possible to oversee the whole course from basically every spot along it.
…if you wanna make it all the way
The rules were quite simple: Show up with your fixed gear bike, put off your brakes, and push your pedals as hard you can. Every one had to go for one fast lap, starting with a gap of 30 seconds. Soon it was clear, that very technical course challenge some starters more than others. The fastest time got Félix Lhenry – from the Dijon Mustard Crew – who came all the way from france.
While the Top 32 riders went directly to the 1/4 finals. 8 riders who are not qualified got the chance to win a “wild card” for the 1/4 finals in the “last chance race”. By now the warm air along the course was already filled with shout-outs and cheering from the crowd as it kinda was the “little finale”.
Keep the pace & let no one go in front of you
Now things went serious: At the end of each lap of all the finals the last rider was taken out of the race. In most of the 1/4 Finals a group 3-5 riders of was able to create a gap within the first laps and made it hard for everyone that couldn’t follow the high pace at the very beginning – something that’s quite typical in many criterium races.
“Girls race too”
Before the men finals kicked in, it was time for the women’s race. Unfortunately only three came to the starting line at the end – as two had to last-minute-cancel there attendance. It still was a intense race when Kim van Dijk (SHE36 – girls fixed gear group in berlin), Sandra Thiel – RSU & Marion Dziwnik – Team Standert raced there laps. At the beginning in one group riding, Marion & Sandra took of together at some point, before Marion showed her strength and set an attack. With already having a gap in between her and Sandra she crashed in the hair-pin. Sandra showed off sporting-spirit and slowed down after passing her. After getting back on the bike Marion showed her will power and finally won the race with advance still.
Until there is just one rider left
Eight men made it to the final. The pressure went up, not only because of the prices that were winnable: a wheel set from DT Swiss, a custom 8bar KRZBERG V5 for the first unsponsored rider and more prices from Selle San Marco and Adidas Cycling. Tempo was set high early as in the races before and everyone could feel that they all had some energy-sapping laps in their legs.
In the end Paul Stubert from the 8bar team could display his race experience and finished third. Johannes Killisperger from mess pack berlin attacked Félix Lhenry until the very end but fall in the second last corner of the track and missed his chance to win. Lhenry, who also has an older brother racing for Team Cinelli Chrome, definitely earned the title “Last one standing”.
Malte Jörß finished 5th and won the 8BAR KRZBERG frame set and will race for the 8BAR rookie team next season.
There will be a next race
By now the sun set and a nice late-summer day went to an end. After celebrating the podium places for us it was not totally over yet. We head over to the after party where we had to reward the “very last one standing”… For everyone in the organisation it was quite clear, that there will be not only a next race, but also another “Last one Standing” competition next year.
Thanks to all the volunteers, spectators, racers and sponsors for putting this event together!