When it’s the middle of winter and there is a metre of snow outside, what do you do? Well, here in Finland we get off our asses find a big hill and race each other down it, AKA the Finnish Winter Cup round 1 at Messilä Bike Park (19.02.2011).
Jimmy Doyle sent over this short report of what a mini downhill race is like in Finland.
We’ll try and get you more info on those studded tyres which look like the the business in those conditions.
F@#king stupidly cold could be a good description of the conditions, with the mercury hitting the wrong side of -25C, not even the local polar bears or penguins ventured out.
The track was short, fast and fun with average times coming in around at the one minute mark. A lot of effort goes into making a winter track, hundreds of metres of snow needs to be shoveled out by hand, and the organizers did a great job of that.
With temperatures being so cold bike set-up was easy… stud tyres… that was about it, everything else just froze, suspension set-up was non existent for lots of riders. Big warm gloves were essential with some people choosing to use motor bike gloves that covered the brakes (Handle bar chaps according to google).
With the track being so short racing was always going to be tight, with the slightest mistake meaning you were going to be punished hard.
The top three on the day where:
Aki Färm, Retkikunta Messilä Racing / Hi5Bikes, 00:50.63.
Markus Olkkonen, Retkikunta Messilä Racing, 00:51.78.
Anssi Koskinen, Retkikunta Messilä Racing/pyorahuolto.com, 00:53.53.
The next round of the race will be held in Calpis bike park (as seen Clay Porters, The Tipping Point) on the 05.03.2011.
Lets hope for a pleasant -5 and spring time sunshine for that!