Deep in the heart of German wine country, not far from the Reihn, and about 10 minutes from the world famous Nurnburgring is the small village on Insul. It had a couple of hotels and a bank, but I never saw a grocery store. Leading down into the village was a road with a bunch of switchbacks.
The course starts above the town on Insul amongst some large fields. The course starts off gently with a shallow right turn, followed by two shallow left turns. Speeds start to pick up as the course heads towards another shallow right turn. Heading down to the first of many hairpins is perhaps the longest straight of the course, where the top speed of the course is probably attained. The first hairpin is a tight banked left hand hairpin.
Thursday, August 5
We travelled most of the day and arrived in the early evening. The organizers picked us up from the train station and dropped us off at the sports fields where the race office was. The campsite was a few hundred meters away in a large open field by the river. We wandered over to the campsite to find that most people didn’t know the race office existed! We hung out at the campsite until someone came by and told us that registration would happen at 11:00PM!
The registration was behind the bar,
Friday, August 6
I never saw a schedule, and had heard three start times for today. But since today was only practice, I decided to sleep in, getting up early enough to eat breakfast. Turns out that practice was starting at 10:30. We got to the bottom of the hill just a few minutes before the first bus left. I wandered over to the race office, and discovered that is where tech was.
I got back in time to jump on the second shuttle. They let the lugers and buttboarders go first,The buses followed us down, turned around, picked us up, then headed back up the hill. One advantage of this was we filled the busses quickly. It think it was also more difficult for them to turn around at the top. [ We were getting a run in about after 20 or 25 minutes.
We broke for lunch around 1:30. I think they sold sandwiches back at the race office, but a few of us went to the restaurant at the hotel. After a pleasant German lunch, it was back to practice.
After spending three weeks racing the World Cup circuit it was nice to be at a slightly more relaxed race. Since the race was only a continental, the points weren’t worth as much, and most people were here just to have a good time, and ride a hill.
I stopped by the campsite for a bit. Apparently the free athlete dinner wouldn’t be served at the race office until 8:30. Most people were just hanging out, enjoying the cool evening. The weather was a refreshing change from our last race in Germany.
After we ate, we wandered back to the bar at the race office. People were playing foosball,
Saturday, August 7
We got up fairly early and ate breakfast at the hotel. There was free breakfast for the athletes at the race office. The breakfast was bread and jam and some fruit with some cakes and coffees.
We had a fairly tight schedule for the morning. The plan was to do warm up for classic and two qualification runs, followed by warm up and two qualifications for street luge. And then a lunch break. We got started a few minutes late. We were expecting a bus, like we had yesterday, but instead we all had to pile into the back of a truck. ] With 24 of us, we just fit. I guess the truck can drive up the hill faster, as the bus had troubles with the tight corners.
Warm up for classic started the day off.My qualifying run went ok, but I broke too much in each turn. With 24 riders it took just more than the half hour allotted to finish up the run. We went straight back up for the second run. It’s been a long time since I’ve done back to back qualifying runs. My second run went much better, I broke less, and shaved three seconds off my time!
Next we went up for our luge warm up run. My warm up wasn’t the greatest, and my first run followed suit. I was just braking too much for each turn. It didn’t help that I was still sick with a clogged up nose and wanting to cough half way down the course.
Our day was done. The schedule was to do standup qualifying in the afternoon, followed by a repecharge race if it didn’t rain (the forecast was for rain in the afternoon.) I still wasn’t feeling too well, so after lunch, I took a long nap.
I woke up and figured I would go watch some of the standup qualifying. I figured they would be about half way done with the second round. I got over to the finish line just as a bus load went up. It seemed too late to start the second round, especially if they wanted to run the repecharge. And then I discovered that they were going to run the entire race today, since the forecast was for rain tomorrow!
I grabbed a homemade waffle, across from the finish line,
Usually the first round isn’t that close. I only took one picture of the first round, and it just so happened to be the closest of the first round heats.
Segrest, who had missed the other races this season, seemed to be a man on a mission trying to make up for lost time.
With the standup race over, I knew the party would probably be long tonight. Unfortunately we still had our race to run. After eating dinner back at the hotel, we want to the party for a few hours.
Sunday, August 8
I got up early, and stuck my head outside. It was cloudy and the roads were wet. The schedule was to run classic luge at 9:00, if it was dry. I probably should have gone back to sleep, but decided to get up and have some breakfast anyways. We then headed over to the race office to see what was going on.
Many of us sitting there discussed how we didn’t really feel like riding in the rain. We didn’t want to have to pack up wet leathers before heading off to the next race. Personally I didn’t want to get sicker. With our decision made to skip the race, we decided to go back to the hotel, to take a short nap. But on the way we decided to drive the course. We noticed that Marcus and Koma were already at the finish line. They were getting prepared to run the race.
Johnson and I drove up the course.
We stopped at the bottom and informed Marcus that we though the course was not safe. He decided to put it to a rider vote. It was getting close to 10:00 and riders were beginning to show up. As we stood there waiting for more riders, and discussing the situation it began to rain some more.
The awards ceremony was held about 1:00, to give me people a chance to head home earlier.
Junior I Standup:
Junior II Standup:
As soon as the ceremony was over we said our goodbyes, and split up quickly. Many people were in a hurry to tear down their camp, and try to head out. It was still early enough in the day for a lot of people to reach their destination while it was still light out.
This event was fairly well done, although there was tons of areas for improvement. Better protection on the course, and some better communication with the riders would be a huge benefit. We did get plenty of runs in on practice day.
I don’t think anyone was seriously injured. I did see one guy in a cast but that may have happened at the previous race.