Pictures: B. Adriaensens & H. Schickor
Words: Alex Dehmel
This weekend the second annual Belgian Championships “Eat Concrete” took place in Gros-Fays in the beatiful Walloon Region in southern Belgium. The three day event is organized by the crew around Jasper, Daan, Bregt, Tibor and Robbie and offered freeriding and racing for lugers and longboarders. I have heard many people talking very positively about their first race last year, so i decided to add it to my race calendar and make it my first race 2014.
Unfortunately i did not do my calendar too well so i missed my ride on thursday and the event seemed almost lost for me. On Friday morning my friends Luke and Jenny from Canada who were visiting us heard about my situation and decided to take me on a spontaneous trip to Belgium. We arrived at the campground on Friday night when many people were already sleeping after a day full of skating.
The race camp was a real camping site at a river. It was fully equipped with nice bathrooms, showers and some really nice long time campers. The party tent was a big circus tent and there were still some survivors dancing at the dancefloor. In a second, smaller tent the organizers had built up a really nice miniramp, which seemed like a lot of fun. Jasper was still up, welcomed us warmly and helped us to register and find a camping spot right away. The whole organization around camping and partying seemed very legit to me in the first moment, so i got really stoked for the race.
The party tent was a big circus tent and there were still some survivors dancing at the dancefloor.
On Saturday i had to get to the road pretty quick, because the race to qualify started after two warm up runs. The track is around 2.5km long (just my guess i didn’t measure it), has three corners that require some kind of braking action and smooth pavement with medium grip. The first one is a slight left bend into an almost 180° right turn. I think most crahses happened here and it was really difficult to line the tight corner with a high speed. The following part is a long 60-70km/h straight with some slight sweepers and two left 90°ish corners. Most riders took them airbraking and carving but some of the fast guys also tried footbraking or sliding. It is a relatively easy hill to ride but still challenging and very funny to race on, because you only have to break a tiny bit for most of the corners to keep up with the pack.
There were around 200 riders mostly from Belgium and the Netherlands but also from France, England and Germany. Even Tenerife local and downhill racer for many years Marcos Costa made his way to the event. There were also other big names like Deen Mondt and of course the allmighty Hertler form Stuttgart. I really missed last years champion, Kevin Bouaich. He is a good guy and it is a lot of fun to race with him. I was also really stoked to see some guys form the UK and Belgium, who were going really fast and clean. We had five quali heats on saturday and two on sunday morning. After the qualifying a 16 man elimination bracket was started.
I was lucky to win all my heats, although i had some really close moments with Sebastian.
I felt really happy to see so many of my friends do so well, especially Andi, Philipp and Bartosch.
To complete the perfect day our friend Gunnar Kalb from Frankfurt won classic luge.
After all Eat Concrete was a very good event. Jasper and the guys did a very good job and everyone i met at the event was really chilled, the all over atmosphere was friendly and harmonic. I can only advise you to watch out for future events by the Eat Concrete guys.