Argonay World Cup
EDI's European race was held in Argonay, France. The town is a "suburb" of Annecy, which is quite a large town on Lake Annecy. The town is about a half hour south of Geneva, Switzerland.
There is a granite curb that's got a fairly square edge. I think when they put in the road that we took, they chopped the curb down, but it left a small edge in the street. The city came out to put a layer of cement over the it. Instead of putting a small one inch layer of cement, they put it a full fledge speed bump.
So we headed down the straight, past the hotel, and made a left turn over the speed bump in front of the church.
Friday, June 7
I actually got to France yesterday, but I figured I would spend the day in Geneva. I was going to head into France late in the afternoon, when I heard that DeKeyser needed a lift. Since I was going to be in Geneva on Friday I figured I would go pick him up at the airport. I got to the airport and the first person I see is Waldo! Fortunately for us, Waldo had lost his luggage, so we were able to get our luggage and the three of us into the car.
I had made reservations for a hotel in Annecy, so I figured we would head there first. My hotel was near A41 (the major freeway) and N260 (or something). Well, the maps mention N260, but none of the exit signs did! After driving around for about an hour, we figured we would head to the hill. We stopped at a gas station and bought a map to figure out were Argonay was. Once we knew the general direction of Argonay it was fairly easy to find, as every intersection seems to have signs pointing to a nearby city.
Saturday, June 8
We got up around 7 AM and head downstairs for some breakfast. I sit down in the bar, and they give us a basket of bread, and ask if I want coffee. I'm thinking, no I just want the rest of breakfast. Well turns out, that's it! Coffee and croissants.
We are supposed to have a riders meeting at 7:30, but that never materializes. We do find out that the two day event is going to become a one day event, because Sunday is an election day, and apparently everything is closed.
Our pit area was at the top of the course, the same area we used last year.
We had a large bus at the bottom, that took us to the top of the hill via a different road. The view was incredible.
After a couple of practice runs, it was time to qualify Standup. I went down the hill and got some pics at one of the hairpins. Just before the middle set of hairpins there is a niche in the side of the road that normally has a religious icon. Well it still has one, just of a different sort.
Before the finals started, it began to sprinkle. It was decided to do the luge and buttboard qualifying, and see what happens with the weather. It stopped raining, and the course dried up fairly quickly. We went ahead and did two luge and two buttboard qualifying runs. There were a couple of boothsThey were also selling sandwiches, t-shirts, and beverages. That was my lunch.
I'm not sure why they continued to do luge and buttboard qualifying, even though the course was dry and it wasn't raining. But it began to rain again before racing started.
I managed to pull Biker and Rat in my three man heat. I was in last place as we approached the second hairpin, but both Biker and Rat were riding conservatively. I flew past them at top speed, slammed on my brakes, and JUST missed the turn. I'm thinking oh well, I took a gamble and lost. Turns out both Biker and Rat ALSO missed the turn. Biker and I paddle out, but I guess Rat's luge got stuck in the fencing that lined the track.
Gerhard was attending his first race since contracting deadly Lyme disease last year. He easily took first place in luge.
We still had the buttboard race. EDI's first buttboard race!
Because of the rain, the finals for pro standup, and the entire am standup race was not run. Finishes were decided by qualification.
It was time for the awards ceremony, but first we had to wait for someone to return from the hospital. The ceremony was held in the basement of the hotel, and someone broke out with a couple of kegs.
After the awards were given out, a bunch of goodies were raffled off. With the race numbers being pulled out of the hat.
The after party was held at Madigans, an Irish pub a couple of miles from the course. After we got kicked out of there at closing time, a bunch of us headed to a Disco. I had no clue how to get back to the hotel, so I drove around until I found the gas station we stopped at yesterday. Then I knew how to get back.
Sunday, June 9
We were supposed to luge today. In fact Waldo and I were going to sit on Waldo's balcony and watch the standup race.
Well we didn't really have any plans, so Waldo, Kahn, Lisa and I
The day wasn't a very nice day,
The week before Annecy hosted an International Animation Festival. A lot of the signs were still up. We found this bird in front of one of the signs, and thought it would be a cool picture. Waldo took this shot, it is way better than the picture I was going to take.
While we were meandering through the town I saw a post card of a castle on the lake. So we went looking for it.
Monday, June 10
Everyone else has already left, I had an 11 am flight, and Waldo was going to stay with Wagner in Geneva as he leaves tomorrow. I get up and Waldo, who is already up, tells me if I notice anything missing. Turns out the city had already come out and removed the speed bump!
Waldo I headed to the airport where Waldo used his luge has transportation.
This event had its up's and down's. It lacked sorely of organization, but it was a fun little course and made even more interesting with the rain. It was too bad that the standup guys lost out on their race. Once the course was dry they should have immediately finished standup, and finished luge and buttboard latter. I believe one of the standup guys went to the hospital with a dislocated shoulder (or similar injury.) But because of the slow speed of the course, the were no other injuries.