Seba Beton On Fire at Altenberg, Germany
An extreme challenge
As a reminder, Beton On Fire is a race against the clock in a bobsleigh track (the ice of which has been removed). The skaters, sledgers and long boarders throw themselves into the concrete tube to reach breathtaking speeds. In addition to the speed, you have to be able to handle the pressure created by accelerations in bends. The mere fact of holding your head in the right position during a schuss requires a lot of energy with the weight of the helmet. The least to say is that you'd better be in a physical shape as good as a F1 pilot with a strong neck.
The participants are keyed up at the start of the qualifications. Let's note several withdrawals during the trainings. Indeed, the slightest technical mistake proves costly.
Once doesn't make it a habit, the sun shines the whole weekend. The riders propel themselves from the top of the track. Starts at intermediary levels enable to discover the track without taking the speed given by the upper part. The skaters start at the Bobsleigh start.
In the skating category, three champions push themselves forward at the trainings. German Moritz Noerl, the winner of the 2013 Tour, Swiss Kilian Braun, who draws his experience from Crashed Ice, and Austrian Daniel Ladurner, a multiple IIDA Downhill world champion whose name figures on the list of skating legends.
The three names appear one after the other on top of the results list of the training runs.
The 15 best skaters are qualified in Q2 and the 10 best for the final. The final holds a few surprises in store as favorite Moritz Noerl falls under the weight of the pressure imposed by the competition. The question is: was the pressure psychological and/or physical, due to the notorious 360 bend of Altenberg, the Kreisel (a synonym for roundabout or carousel)?
The Austrian, Daniel Ladurner, wins with his legendary self-control and a perfect stance all along the race course. Time to be beaten: 1:14.402. The best time ever made on the skating track.
Swiss Kilian Braun signs a great performance and takes the 2nd place, followed by French Nicolas Varin, who confirms his 3rd place at the 2013 general ranking.
In the longboard category, the start is made at the sledge start, with a reduced number of riders. German Dennis Wangler wins the race and gains the respect of Danny Strasser, the winner of the 2013 Tour.
In the Buggy Rollin category, the master of the discipline hasn't been dethroned: French Jean-Yves Blondeau cracks the chronometer and blocks the timer just as usual, offering staggering perspectives to the spectators who have come to cheer the weekend's heroes.
Next meeting will take place in Calgary, with a new heat on July 30 and 31, 2014. Then, destination La Plagne for the Great Final of the 2014 Beton On Fire Tour!