The event recap from Canyon RAD PACK team riders Jan Lietzke, Simon Haer and Axel Walter about their race experience during the RAD RACE Fixed42 World Championship in Berlin, May31st 2015 in the official program of the Velothon Berlin.
Jan Lietzke, Hamburg, 17-years // Canyon RAD PACK
"After I had nearly asked everybody what gear ratio they were supposed to be riding, I decided to go with a 52t chainring and a 15t sprocket. While I was trying to change my chainring I destroyed one of the chainring bolts. So I wasn’t able to change the ring anymore. Luckily the Suicycle guys had some spare sprockets in their team bus (thanks again!). So my race ratio was 50x14. 20min before the start everybody was nervous and you were feeling the adrenaline in your blood slowly rising.
Finally we started. After the safety car drove away the race was on! During the first kilometers everybody tried to stay with the leading group, especially on the highway. I always found myself riding in the leading group with an average speed somewhere between 47-48km/h. Some riders already attacked at the beginning but weren’t successfull. The only attack I nearly wasn’t able to follow has been on the Tempelhofer Feld.
The whole field was falling into many little groups and after a pretty hard effort I was able to stay with the leading group. We slowly came towards the city center and the turns got very narrow. The leading group became smaller and smaller after every turn but I still had enough left in the tank to stay with them. The more kilometers we had done the more hectic and nervous the group became. Everybody was watching the others and was waiting for an attack to follow, but the few attacks weren’t powerful enough to succeed.
During the race everybody rode safe and always showed the others where to be careful, but towards the end less people were calm enough to do that. So nobody was expecting the building lot on the road with about 2 kilometers to go. The leading group suddenly got very tight and some people were braking way too hard. So it happened. I crashed. I just saw bikes flying over my head and a tire exploded somewhere behind me. I was lucky enough to not been hurt seriously.
I got back on my bike when I felt a hand on my arm. I just looked into a womens face saying: “Wait, I’ll call the emergency!“ I just looked at her in a very stupid way and left. I was passing all the spectators yelling at me after the flamme rouge and finally finshed the race in 32nd place. It has been a great weekend with even better people. Thanks to everybody participating and all the other teams! When I arrived home my mum asked me if I hit my head and I was saying: “No, only my leg and arm“ while I recognized that my helmet was broken in two halfs."
Simon Haer, Bielefeld, 25-years // Canyon RAD PACK
Some last jokes and handshakes for a good race, then Taha counted down from 10. In this moment my race already started. After a smooth and neutralised start we hit the highway straight to Berlin. A lot of tailwind and wide lanes made the race fast but not super hard in the first 15k. I tried to keep myself as good as possible in the first lines of the race for the moment when we enter they city, where the attacks will happen. Attacks happend and I tried to go with them or if i missed, chase them back. There i recognized that there are lot race proven riders in the bunch and it is not easy to attack and get away with it.
A few k after Tempelhofer Airport the bunch was riding smooth and slow on a wide descending street to Hermannplatz. I attacked and pushed myself on the other side of the street to go "Vollgas" and saw that there were no chasers. I went 2 or 3 k alone and then went slower to have a small drink, which was a mistake.
You have to keep on riding fast. Going slower and going fast again does not work (for me). So they caught me and I tried to figure out where i will attack again. Going fast as hell through Berlin streets was great and even cornering went good most times. As fast the bunch was, as nervous some riders were. Unfortunately 3-4k before the finish line, some dudes tried to connect their bars while riding 45-50kph. As fast the bunch was, as hurtful it was for some riders, including me. Hitting the deck, getting up again on my bike, only thinking about the finish line and then i recognized my frontwheel was totaly fucked up. FUCK, but i could not do anything to solve the problem. My body felt as fucked up as my frontwheel. Having some talks about how it happened and then went to the finish line by car. But so far it was a superb day and race! I am looking forward for next years RAD RACE Fixed42 World Championchips for my second chance!
Axel Walter, Berlin, 30-years // Canyon RAD PACK
My first time "fixed 42k"
Nervous as fuck right from the start, listening to the loud pumping music. 10 minutes felt like an hour. Then I heard the countdown and everything was focused. At that point I didnt know what was ahead.
I lost my group right from the start and tried to do it on my own. We reached the 50km/h mark in seconds after the pace car left. One of my friends had a horrible crash just a few meters in front of me. I didnt know if he was injured but I moved on. We had an average speed of 50 to 55 km/h the first 12k on the motoway. So fucking fast but still in the top group with 3 of my team mates. The adrenalin kicked in when we left the highway and reached the city.
My first almost-crash happened when we arrived at the entry corner of Tempelhofer Feld. Somebody just lost his lockring in front of me and had to brake with his foot on the tire, right in the moment when I tried to pass him. Because of this accident I lost the leading group. Alone against the wind, my legs started to scream. But luckily Magnus, a team member of standert racing team, helped me out to reach the top group again right before the downhill to Hermannplatz.
An amazing feeling to rush down from Hermanstraße to Kottbusserdamm! I knew there were only a few km left. My legs hurt but I still pushed it hard. Then at Friedrichstraße it happened: only 3km left and there was a big crash and I was in the middle of it. First I just smelled rubber from a tire and then I heard the noise of bikes crashing into each other. At a speed of 45km/h in a group of 30 riders you cant do anything to avoid a crash if somebody is falling down in front of you, me neither.
I hit somebody with my front wheel and started my way to the floor. I landed really softly on another rider. THX Man! But my leg really hurt because of the impact. When I found my bike, I saw that the handlebar was pointing totally in the wrong direction. I put the frontwheel between my legs and pushed the bar back in position, almost. I just hoped that the rest of the bike would be fine and I can finish the race. Magnus was just in front of me but he had a puncture. Pissed and dissapointed, he threw his bike away.
I could understand him. With my hurting leg I just jumped on the bike and headed for the finish line. Exhausted and totally tired, I finished the race with an average speed of 46,7 km/h in 27th place. It hurt and I almost had to puke, but I had not felt that happy in a long time. And this feeling still makes me smile when I think about the race. Every rider I talked to felt the same way, even the crashed ones! Thank you guys from RAD RACE for the opportunity to do awesome shit!!!! Keep it up!
STOP RACISM - START RACEISM
Thanks for the awesome photos to Nils Laengner, Constantin Gerlach, Drew Kaplan, Björn Lexius.