“SMOKED BY POLC!” WHEELS OF SPEED WINNER
The SYMPATEX BIKE-Festival in Willingen, Germany was the location for the Wheels Of Speed Downhill Challenge. The Rasoulution team of Tarek Rasouli and Anne Baltes conceived the concept for the unique race format and threw down a total purse of 30,000 euros to spice up the challenge. The concept for the race invites amateur downhill racers to come challenge the 2-minute world class downhill course with a chance for the top eight quickest amateurs to advance to the main event of 40 riders, mixing it up with the pros, which includes the women. The 16 invited riders are automatic qualifiers, and the other 16 riders are pulled from the pro qualifying event held Saturday.
Filip Polc (Gravity Group), suffered a hard crash in Saturday’s qualifier, being knocked unconscious for 2 minutes and shipped off to the hospital. Fellow riders were relieved to see him doing well and riding practice on Sunday. Little did they know that they were about to take a beating by Filip in the final.
The race started with the top 8 amateurs which was very exciting for them as Kristof Lenssins did a stint in the hotseat for a bit until Filip rocked down the course. Because of the crash Filip had in the qualifier he was the first pro to arrive at the finish. He sat in the hotseat until the very end. Marc Beaumont (MBUK/Santa Cruz), was the next pro down and describes what he saw of Filip’s run, “Polc was so fast at the top, oh my god!!! I don’t believe he’s even riding after yesterday. He rode the top 4X style, pedaling and pinning the top!!”
Many minutes later Syndicate’s Steve Peat came down bumping himself into 2nd place. Few men to go, and Minnaar comes in knocking Peat into 3rd, but behind Polc for the final result, Polc, Minnaar, Peat for the top three.
Peat says to Minnaar, “You got smoked!” Minnaar says, “Smoked by Polc!! I had a good top section, but the middle section I rode very cautiously.” Peat says, “I never got right on it, not into a rythym, not up to speed.” Polc said, “I was drifting a lot up there, and lost my rear end in the grassy corners, but I am very happy with the result”.
As always Anne and Tarek have treated the riders to a great event and they give the personal touch to everyone making the experience top notch. They hosted a riders dinner held at one of the finest restaurants in town and arranged VIP passes for the riders to get into the best club in town with free drink tokens thrown in, and access to the VIP area with free food and drinks everyday. The downhillers think this is a really great thing and wish every race could be this way. Peat says, “It should be this way, really.
Riders have a place they can hang out have a piece of cake and a cup of tea. It makes the riders feel better about the event. It’s one of the small things an organizer can do to give the rider a good feeling about the event. These things take the event up a notch.”
Here’s your top five results:
1st: Filip Polc 1:58.01
2nd: Greg Minnaar 1:58.03
3rd: Steve Peat 1:58.45
4th: Sam Blenkinsop 1:58.74
5th: Andrew Neethling 1:58.91
Filip Polc - Champagne burns...
The SYMPATEX BIKE-Festival in Willingen, Germany was the location for the Wheels Of Speed Downhill Challenge. The Rasoulution team of Tarek Rasouli and Anne Baltes conceived the concept for the unique race format and threw down a total purse of 30,000 euros to spice up the challenge. The concept for the race