Andy Zeiss about COB 2007

imageQ: Please introduce yourself. Name, Age, Location ..

Andy Zeiss, 32 year old, meat eating, alcohol drinking, ball headed, unshaved, tattooed but non-smoking dude from Cologne in Germany.

Q: What's your job ?

Basicly I´m self-employed and I run a small agency. My jobs are based mainly around the 20" bike. Why? cause thats what I do and I love it!
I create events for several "clients" but these clients are actually more close relationships and friendships, I manage an int. bmx team, run int. bmx events, consult for major brands in bike related interests, etc.
I also have been doing a lot of mtb stuff the last two years - that kind of came thru bmx I guess.
I´m working with RedBull for ages. Back for the first COB I was still at this other agency and COB was my project. In 2004 I left that agency and started my own little thing. I´m involved in a lot of Red Bull projects and proud to do the upcoming third COB in Tokyo.

Q: People were wondering why top riders like Justin Miller or Matthias Dandois are not invited to the COB. How have the riders been choosen ? Why have you choosen exactly those 18 riders ?

Yeah I can imagine that people are discussing this issue quite hard - hahaha! There are tons of statements and pages on this case in the global flat forum. I dont know why people always discuss this in public back door - only one guy had the balls to send me an email so we emailed back and forth. (Thanks Glenn, I appreciate that.) The funny thing is all these people discussing this still dont seem to realize what the COB is all about.
Back in 2001 when we had this idea for that kind of event, we wanted to create an event that was needed for the sport. Flatland always was held in a 2nd class area, 2nd class media, 2ndimage class attention - everything was just not the right way. So we wanted to change that and create a platform for the sport of flatland it really deserves. The riders, the sport and it lifestyle should be in the right spot and it should be promoted the right way so people can see what flatland is and how great it is.

One of the things was not only to run "another contest". We wanted to do have a BOOM event and with riders which represent the sport as it best with all different facings and views - sort of icons you know? Obviously you couldnt do it with an open riders field - especially not when we wanted to try something new. We didnt wanted to have regular format with normal 3 minute runs. We tried something new and came up with the battle fomat which is now pretty established I guess. This is one of the things the sport lives on - progression!

So also for 2007 in Tokyo we had to make that 18 people riders line up. In our eyes it should have been a mix on riders which reps the sport in different ways. Riding skills are important but not the main thing. It´s one thing being a contest mashine, "training" all day long with the only aim to win comps, but that´s not what flatland is all about. You have to feel it, live it, suck it up, etc. Then you feel the lifestyle - lets face it, flatland is about expression of character, state of mind, personalitiy, creativity, hart, soul, edgyness, dedication, uniqueness, freedom, freestyle, etc. right? Dont get my wrong - this is only my view and I know I´m not the only one seeing it like that. But I also know that freedom is also to see it from another angle.
So if you look at all these facts you pretty much have all the main ingredients for the COB and I´m sorry so say that Justin didnt make that cut because there are 18 other riders in the world who fit in that criteria perfectly. No disrespect!
I oppologised personally to him and explained. I highly respect him as a person and I respect his riding but there is something missing for riding at COB.
With Matthias it´s something else. He def. has the right things to bring along to COB but I have to be fair too. Matthias had an awesome 2006 - I think he will be one of the best riders on this planet - he learned so fast (thanks to Alex, ahaha) and is able to be very consistant and make hard tricks look so easy. But in the end of the day he rides couple of years now but still need to learn much more on the lifestyle of flatland and needs to earn more credit. He was there to fast where is he is now.
Those 18 riders we have selected earned that respect over decades and are still able to be top notch - this is why we credit them with COB. It´s for those riders and I´m am proud to have those riders at COB. My team did the right selection on riders.

Q: Who is going to win ?

Honestly? Flatland is going to win!!! It´s for the sport and to credit it!!! There´s not gonna be one winner (literally). But if I have to make a call - my money would be on Hiro!

2007-01-17 - Andy Zeiss, Martin Schulz