News From Europe: Freeride Festival - SAALBACH
The Dakine Freeride Festival was held for the second time in Saalbach-Hinterglemm. It is a big event with a huge Expo Area and different competitions. There was a race for the kids, a Dual Eliminator and way more. Our main focus was on the Scott Gang Battle - a mass start downhill race with over 11 minutes to ride from the top of the Schattberg in Saalbach. The weather was just perfect all 3 days long and there were so many people.
Ingo and Steffen from Canfield Brothers Europe were there as well. They had a booth at the Expo Area and the 2011 Canfield Bikes for testing with them. The Bikes were the whole day away because so many people wanted to try them.
The qualification was on Saturday and the competitors had to ride in a „Gang“ with 30 riders. We didn‘t know what we could expect, because you can‘t compare it with a normal downhill race and there are also the other riders - so, you can always come into a dicey situation. BUT the surprise was big! Teamrider Matthias just SMASHED the X-Line down the Schattberg and ended up first with over 13!! seconds ahead at the qualifying round. He showed that he can ride fast - also that he is in real good shape. Due to that all eyes were on Matthias and the team and everyone was anxious for the final result on Sunday and if he can make the big win!
The finals were held in „Gangs“ with 120 riders and you had to make a pretty good start to have a chance for winning the race - the fighting, struggling and jousting was bound to happen. Matthias was about 10th at the start but he battled his way through and got at the second position. He had to ride a long way down behind the guy in front of him and couldn‘t get ahead of him. At the last hillside, which was already visible from the finish area he got him with a spectacular overtaking maneuver. The crowd cheered and rooted for Matthias that he can make it at first down.
AND HE GOT IT! The BIG WIN at the Gang Battle in Saalbach! Matthias and the whole team was just stoked and couldn‘t believe it! CONGRATS Matthias - you did such a good job!
- Provided by the Canfield Brothers Factory Team