Braun Ninja Spin

     Braun Ninja Spin 2005

Have you ever been sensed that you were living a significant event ? When you tell yourself “I ‘m living something that will be remembered for a long time”?
Well, even if the word is excessive, that’s the ambiance of this Saturday and mainly this Sunday, 8th of May 2005 in Achere, a quiet little Paris-suburban town.
Except the fact, always impressive, to see Lee Musselwhite chatting with Jesse Puente while Viki and Wolfgang ride in jam with Pete Brand, not far away from Terry Adams, Alex Jumelin, Martti kuoppa....etc. Something did happen :
This contest has been more that a sum of pro-riders, it has been a real Alchemy of the mad scientist Alex Jumelin, who finaly set fire at the lab!

First, when you arrive on saturday morning, You take the usual slap in the face : The first pros. In front of your half asleep eyes an extraterrestrial called Michael Sommer performs a “switch foot pedal steam roller” (the only trick the speed allows you to identify) Then you put your bike down, sit, and watch.
Actualy, all this is seen like you were dreaming, without really undestanding what is going on. But in fact, the tricks, pleasure, the ambiance, everything is growing up till Sunday evening, and then, with the pro-battle, we ain’t far from the overdose! I feel sorry for you, poor reader who missed this legendary moment! I give up trying to convey the feeling achieved there, I’ll just tell the facts, which are enough to consider the event.

Click the image to see more ..

By the way I’d like to say that at the begining I didn’t like much the word of “battle”, I imagined a jealous competition for money, the result has been really different:

Scott O’brien is already gone wild, while running arround the flat area he announces the beginning : in the first corner of the ring Wolfgang Sauter, in this one Martti Kuoppa, in the other corner, Viki Gomez, and there Alex Jumelin preparing himself to the clash. And so begins 30 minutes of high speed jam, the tricks follow on very, very; very fast. Except Wolfgang who keeps on excelling in his art of fluidity, small contrast indeed, between the famous KGB riders and this incredibly smooth rider.
What’s more this contrast has been obvious with the results : Martti, Alex and Viki are riders who can be classed, there level of the moment and theirs best tricks aren’t the same at all but can be compared, but Wolfgang, perhaps too different couldn’t access the podium.

Exception made of this major event of the contest, the other pros were in the place too ! The impressive jumps of Terry Adams will be remembered as well as his (ritual but still appreciated) pedaling deathtruck. We don’t introduce Jesse anymore his reputation was before him, even if he kept saying “bad day” apologizing not to pull his hardest tricks... Believe me he really impressed us. Bad day but great rider! He also made a friend, John la Knette Leblond, from Grenoble in France, who even rode with his bike in the end!

Lots of young riders discovered a prodigy who comes too rarely in europe : Pete Brand, and the man was in great shape : a real trick machine! Although he scared every single pro at the practice, his final run didn’t allow him to go further than the 5th place, too bad!

What has been really impressive compared to the other contest i saw, is that the ambiance was GREAT, the competition between riders was still really positive, and everybody were talking with everybody, were meeting new people. Even if the riders were stressed out with the contest, it hasn’t broken the vibe.
Pros were revealing an human face, for instance Wolfgang who was playing with his little kid, and Alex and his son who was calling him during his run. We forget too often that our idols are human beings.... Moments like that are great!

So a 98% perfect recipe, the 2% missing would be : First the fact that the wonderfull KGB frame special edition was won by the 1st master instead of the first amateur like it had been announced. Second thing, the final pro podium : the 3 KGB riders...It leaves some doubts...
I’m not saying that they didn’t deserve it! Viki and Alex seemed at the top of their form and Martti who (according to some people had just gone through health problems) wasn’t at his best level, has pulled some crazy links anyway. However, each time he fell, he kept a beaming smile, and this is a proof of the ambiance which reigned for this edition of the ninja spin, a contest that keeps on improving itself.

Can’t wait for next year!
1. Viky Gomez
2. Martti Kuoppa
3. Alex Jumelin
4. Wolfgang Sauter
5. Pete Brant
6. Jesse Puente
7. Michael Sommer
8. Justin Miller
9. Bram Verhallen
10. Peter Sarlos
11. Sam Foakes
12. Raphael Chiquet
13. Terry Adams
14. Alexis Desolneux
15. Adam Kum
16. Sebastien Pospichil
17. Efrain Catlow
18. Lee Musselwhite
19. Sven Steinbach
20. Michael Steingräber
21. Sergio Concalves
22. Christophe Dassie
23. Sebastien Grumbinger
1. Nicolas Ferrando
2. Benjamin Gros
3. Winkel Syltse
4. Pierre Fabre
5. Romain Georges
6. Alex Alexandridis
7. Antoine Andoque
8. Stephane Ferrard
9. Fabien Stephan
10. Yannick Chauvel

21st of May 2005 - Ilan Giguel (thanks to my dad for all the photographs)