“The only thing that went wrong in the whole weekend was the bell that didn’t ring.” This is how Ingo Engelhardt, the race director of Rad Race, starts the Skype call 5 days after the event. “It is just embarrassing that something like this happens especially as during the whole weekend everything was going so well with the whole crew, the heats were going smooth, riders and spectators were having a blast and the crashes that happened didn’t cause any serious physical harm.” Despite that this was indeed a major flaw during the race, which actually might have prevented Fransisca Campos to defend her title successfully, overall the event can be seen as big success for the organisation.
Text & Header Image: Brian Megens
160 riders in over 2 categories competed on the indoor go-kart track in Berlin. Up until the finals, half of the riders were eliminated in the qualification heats leaving 8 riders to start the last races which would decide who would be the Last Woman/Man Standing.
The Women’s final started with three top favourites, defending champion Fransisca Campos from Santa Fixie, Carla Nafria, and Samantha (Sami) Moreno both from 8Bar. During the heats, it was Sami who made the strongest impression of the favourites. As expected she started aggressively taking the lead. She was closely followed by Carla Nafria and together they got a gap on Fransisca Campos who was in third position. Multiple crashes forced Carla out of the race. From then, it was Fransisca who was closing the gap lap by lap. Beofre going into the last lap the bell didn’t ring making Fransisca thinking that the last lap still had to come. Sami crossed the finish line first, however, both racers didn’t seem to realise that the last lap was officially already done.The organisation had made a mistake by not riding the bell to indicate the last lap. Nevertheless, the organisation argued that besides this all rules were followed making Sami the winner of the Rad Race Last Women Standing. The third place was taken surprisingly by the young Tamika Hingst from Canyon Rad Pack.
Augusto Reati from Supernova, who missed his flight and arrived late, was the top favourite as he won all editions of the race he participated in. However, this year the level of the competition increased drastically. In the semi-final Augusto already had to fight and give it all to make it into the final at cost of Sebastian Körber from 8Bar. American rider for State Bicycle Co., Addison Zawada, was cruising through the heats in which it looked like he was playing with the competition making it likely that he and Augusto would battle for victory. However, Dutchman David van Eerd turned out to be the biggest competition for Addison, who was leading the race from the start, during the first half of the race. It was a mechanical problem, the tube of David rolled, that took David out of the race for the win. Although Augusto was quite behind on Addison, a really strong comeback from the Italian forced a sprint-a-deux in which the American was able to keep his position taking the overall win of the Rad Race Last Man Standing. It was Stefan Vis who complemented the podium by showcasing some very solid racing throughout the evening.
The combination of serious racing with the party atmosphere makes the Rad Race Last Man Standing worthwhile to become the traditional kick-off of the European fixed gear crit season! The next event for Race is the Sprint Battle in Koblenz.