I just wanted to ride a few laps and have fun on my bike. That was my plan for the RAD RACE Last Man Standing on a go-kart track in Berlin. I love racing fixed gear, but I'm definately not the best technical rider. Saturday noon we were ready with building up the track and preparing everything for this huge event. I grabbed my bike and got on the track with all the other rider to get to know the surface, the turns and the possibilities to pass other riders, or what I thought, to get passed by others. Last year I hated the course, bad surface, corners I didn't get around, and not a good feeling with a new bike. This year was different. This year everything felt different. I liked the surface, I liked the turns, I liked the flow how I got around the track. So I thought: This race will be fun. I'll enjoy it.
Qualifying: G10, 9, 8... kick it! Strong start, first position. "Wohu! At least one time of this day I'm leading the pack..." I felt good in the training and I felt better in the race. I enjoyed it. I became faster and won my qualifying with a huge gap. After that I went on the stands to watch the other races and to cheer up my team mates. They all made it through. I really enjoyed watching Henne, who last year always said: "I'll start from the back, to learn and not to block the others." It looked like he learned a lot! He was riding super strong, fighting and defending positions. I'm looking forward to race more with him!
Round of 64: I wasn't thinking so much about my next race. As I said: my plan was to ride a few laps and have fun on my bike. But then I did the same in the qualifying. Strong start, directly to position one. I got in the flow around each turn, accelerated at the end of each turn and enjoyed the flow, which kept me on the first position. "Second victory. Wohu! That's cool!" Unfortunately Fritz didn't make it to the next round. He had problems getting in his pedal at the start. However, he still cought two more riders. Strong performance for a time trialist! The fourth turn was special, cause many riders crashed here. Unfortunately our boy John did as well. John is a strong fixed gear rider, but unfortunately he slipped away and was out of the race right away. Whatever John! There are still plenty of races in 2018!
Quarter finals: "This group is super strong. They are all experienced on the go-kart track... Whatever afterwards I can drink more beer!" But my tactics worked again. Strong start on position one. After a few laps Simon Klint passed me. I could have thought: "Second, that's still enough for semi finals." But I thought: "No fuckin' way! I want to finish this race on first place again." Two laps after that I had a chance to pass him, took it and won the quarter finals. Seriously semi finals?! How cool is that?! Our strongest rider on the go-kart track, Max Höflich, just had bad luck. In the dangerous turn nr. 4, two guys crashed in front of him. He had luck and didn't fall, but his front wheel had a puncture and he was out of the race after just one lap... Next year buddy!
Semi finals: "Zawada, two Supernova boys, Stechi, David, Tobi... wow! Strong group! Whatever! I got the flow!" 10, 9, 8... kick it! First turn: Zawada on one, myself on two. third turn, Zoli passes me as well. "Okay, that's enough! No more! But what's happening in front of me? Zoli passes Zawada as well. Wow, that's gonna be interesting. I want to try the same." First try: didn't work. Second try: Didn't work. Thrid try: Zawada is getting really slow out of the second last corner in the second last lap. "Grab it and go!" Second position on Zoli's wheel. "Wohu! That's fast! Wohu! That's fun! Wohu! That's the final baby!"
Finals: The main light is off, the fog machine and some spots are on. All eight riders of the final are standing around Ingo to pick their numbers for the starting position. All the guys seam 100% focussed, everybody is willing to go all in for the victory. I'm super psyched! "I'M IN THE FUCKIN' FINALS!" Starting number three. Anywhere in the middle, not my favorite starting spot, but whatever. 10, 9, 8... kick it! Worst start of the day! I got around the first corner on position eight. Yep. You can also call this the last position. "Whatever, if I'm out of the race in two laps I'll celebrate it as well! I'm in the finals of this shit!"
But two turns later the situation changed again. Sebastian Körber crashed. Position 7. "Okay, now go go go and catch a few more guys!" It worked, I fought myself back to the pack. After a few more laps and another crash of David van Eerd and Simon Mateju I was on position 4. Zawada and Zoli together at the front, then a gap Stefan Schott, me and the others. Same turn I passed Zawada in the semi finals I passed Stefan. I was pushing hard and just one lap later, when I saw Zawada and Zoli I realised "This can be the podium". I pushed harder and managed to get back to the leading two guys. I tried it a few times in different turns to attack them, but it didn't work. I've heard the bell and Ingo screaming "three more laps to go". I thought "Now or never! ...Okay, never." I couldn't pass them. But what the fuck?!?! "I'm on the podium! I'm third! I'm third in a race where I never thought I could be even close to the finals. This can't be true. This feels unreal!"
But two days later! "It's real and it's fuckin AMAZING!"
What about our girls?
Maria and Tamika both deciced to start at the Last Woman Standing. Their memories: Maria: Getting rid of some teeth Tamika: First fixed gear race ever and directly on the podium
So what happend at the Last Woman standing in 2018? Both of them came in second in their quarter finals. Best requirements for the semi finals. a great night! Maria fought hard, but unfortunately she didn't get through to the finals. Different to Tami. Did she got the chance to get back on the podium again, like last year? She couldn't get in the pedal right at the beginning of the final, so she was in the back of the group. With big effort, she battled for each position to get back to the front. But the other girls did as well and in the end it didn't work out to get back on the podium again. Whatever! The whole PACK enjoyed racing on the go-kart track a lot!