Almabtrieb 2014 / Eurotour with Alex Dehmel: Chapter 3

Almabtrieb 2014 was a big festival for the whole world of downhill skateboarding we tried to capture some of the action and feelings during and in between the race heats.

So lean back, grab some popcorn and breathe some bavarian air.

Thanks to Stephan, Olivier, Eimer, the whole support crew and all the sponsors!

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Update 24.12.2014: Unfortuanetly, we forgot to release Alex’ travel report, so here it comes:

leon and me arrived at almabtrieb on saturday night, a couple days before the start of the event to help stephan setting up everything. finally the german steez team was reunited and when matze everybody freaked out because he just returned from the races in north & south america. besides the germans pablo quiles, justin readings and tristan kodors, a bc local shredder who came overseas the first time were there to help with the preparations. under the highly professional supervision of our “cappos” (=bosses) stephan, hertler and olivier we were setting up the course, campsite and party tent quickly while still having lots of fun.

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leon and adrian entertaining the team during lunchbreak

in the following days, more and more people showed up. i was really happy to see all those beautiful and nice people from all over the world again. the forecast promised hot and dry weather and everyone was excited for the race. like every year, the level of the riders increased a lot- you already need a lot of experience to qualify for the race.
unfortunately, the timing did not work so the race director eimer decided to run our beloved format of race to qualify. the top sixteen riders (by 2013 idf rank) were taken out of the qualis and were qualified directly for the top 64 race. i still had to race really hard to make it through in four of our five runs. there were some really tight heats with super fast guys like carlos paixao or tony graves, so i was even more stoked to win all those heats.
the day after qualis was free for everyone who qualified top 60. i really like the system of b and c brackets (basically like repechage) because it gives less experienced riders the opportunity to race a full 64-bracket and the more experienced racers can take a rest and watch the others race. and i really love watching downhill races!

the almabtrieb setuo team on duty
the almabtrieb setup team on duty

on saturday i got eliminated by tony graves in round two. racing him was already super close in the qualis but this time he won. thats racing! unfortunatley all the germans got eliminated before top 8, the last guy in the race was jakob who crashed himslef out in round three.
in the end, kevin reimer won in front of patrick switzer and jimmy riha. respect guys!!!

after a big and crazy party, supported by dj flo fellner and lots of augustiner braeu, we started to take everything down. after two days our convoi was ready to leave for czech republic. i’m super stoked to have my friends dillon and elena from canada in my car for the rest of the trip. basti would travel with us to kozakov but go home afterwards. tristan, justin and janko jumped in reinis car. i was really stoked for the trip that was about to come up but really sad in the same moment because both pablo and matze, two of my most very important skate friends canceled the trip last minute. i still hope, they might join back our crew somewhere along the way.

in the end, everyone was super happy with the event and left with a good mood. i really love the people in this sport and i am super stoked to meet new cool people every time. it would take way to long to mention everyone here that deserves it. so just thank you to all of you making almabtrieb 2014 so awesome! hope to see everyone next year 😉

special thanks to stephan risch and olivier gires!

Eurotour 2014 with Alex Dehmel: Chapter 2 – Alsace Downhill Academy

words: Alex Dehmel

Alsace is the name of one of the most eastern parts of france between the rhine river and the beatiful hills of the vosges. in the younger history, it changed from being france to being german back forth for a while, causing that many people there still speak german (what makes it pretty easy for germans with bad french to travel). it is known for good wine, the most famous french beers and for a long tradition in downhill. president greg and his assossciation “adh”(alsace downhill) have been working hard to become the best organized crew in already pretty well organized france. they are organizing events at their event hill, the “climont station” since more than ten years now. the local authorities seem to be very happy with their work, they even repaved the whole hill just for longboarding. this time i was visiting their downhill academy, which is organized by landyachtz europe and the adh. on my way from lozio to almabtrieb i planned to hang out there for a bit and then continue to bavaria with leon (ritter), who was working as an instructor for the camp.

It was late sunday night, when i arrived at the cosy little gravel parking lot that i know so well. it was very silent and there was no trace of the other germans. i was lucky to find some french guys chilling at the party tent. they invited me for beer and safety.
leon and koffer arrived the next morning to set everything up. the camp was organized pretty good, around fifteen students signed up for the first week to learn how to downhill properly. at the first day, they were seperated into groups by their skill level. beginners were sent to a small airfield to practise carving, footbraking and sliding, while the more average riders were practicing cornering and lining on the actual course. after the lessons in the afternoon, everyone was able to enjoy the whole track during some freeride runs. because there weren’t too many people and everything was organized so well (also shouts out to samy cantineni for shutteling like a boss!) we got many runs in a short time.
unfortunately, it was raining non-stop for the first four days, but everyone was really motivated to make the best out of it. we had good food, beers and safeness and often hung out in the party tent until the early morning.
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On the second day i visited my friend alex ulrich from dtc, because he lives really close to the event site. he moved to a new place and we haven’t seen us for a while, so we went to strasbourg to have some beers and flammkuchen (alsaces’s speciality; something like a pizza with cream, onions and bacon) and stayed out quite long updating each other about what was going on in the last months. i was happy to have a warm and dry place for at least one night =D

The weather got slightly better by the end of the week and after a couple really nice runs leon and me packed our stuff to leave to bavaria to help set up almabtrieb. i really enjoyed staying at the camp and helping new people to get into the sport. i hope that we will have more camps like this in the future and i think it will help to develop the sport sustainably..

Big thanks tu greg, pierre, koffer, the adh, landyachtz europe and everyone else involved in this great event. now i can’t wait for almabtrieb. there, the real eurotour will start. i will meet many good friends i haven’t seen in a while and we will have a big trip full of racing and freeriding across europe.