The Crown Flatland Contest

     The Crown Flatland Contest

My friend and fellow Flatland rider Asbjoern Bracht has had the idea to organize a contest in Hamburg for a while now. Earlier this year he mentioned he had been in touch with a friend from the old days who was working in a marketing agency that does a contest series called The Crown. His name was Klaas. They exchanged ideas and decided to start looking for locations to hold a cool contest in Hamburg.
The first location they found was a roller rink in a park. Great location, good infrastructure, but I had to veto that one because, despite the good looks of it, the ground is too bumpy. After looking at one other possible venue, the old terminal 1 at Hamburg international airport was found to be the one. The floor turned out to be a bit slippery in the end, but finally there was going to be a contest that did not have a bumpy or spungy floor, and I liked that idea.
Asbjoern and his friend Klaas did all the work, I tried to give them my ideas, asked for a separate practice area for riders to warm up before their runs, free water and fruit for the participants. Then we had to try to get the word out, get as many riders to the contest as possible. I asked a few of my friends if they would come, Frank Lukas made a few calls and the agency even placed a full page ad in FreedomBMX Magazin. The rider turnout was pretty good, many of Germanys top riders showed up, and two days before the contest Alex Jumelin called Lowcash and asked if it was going to be a good contest.

Frank told him it was going to be worth the trip from Paris, so Alex and Raphael Chiquet drove over and arrived in Hamburg late friday night. Alex asked if it was OK for him to stay at my place and I welcomed him. Just to give you an Idea: that night five riders were my guests, the night after the contest we were eleven!
On Saturday I went to the airport at around 10am to see how thngs were going. The doors opened at 11am and riders started showing up. The locals came in first, started practicing and getting used to the area. I was afraid a lot of people would complain about the slippery floor, but everyone rather tried to get used to it. Some liked it a lot, some had trouble. While riders practiced their combos, the DJs spun their records and did the best job ever! I know this is my personal opinion, but I really really liked the music they played and I know I was not the only one.
We started the prelims at 4pm, Master Class first, then Pro. I’m not going to go into too much detail about the riding, but I was very happy that many of the locals from Hamburg rode in the contest, and some rode really well. David Hoffmann had a very impressive run in the prelims, but could not handle the pressure in the finals. Nico Konkel has a heavy body, but he rode his bike like a feather. He had a great run in the Master Finals, pulling No Handed Hitchhikers and Fire Hydrants to Decade among other stuff. Sascha Heydemann produced great links taking advantage of the fast floor, which suites his riding very well. I did not hear Steffen Peters real name once throughout the day but his original style got him a first place finish. Wankman!

The pros: It was good to see Ali Barjesteh ride a contest once again. He made it to the finals, too and took home some money. Wolfgang Sauter was very impressive throughout the day, riding everywhere in the bulding, linking without thinking, making it all look too easy. Markus Reich has a style of his own, pulling endles links in prelims and finals when he was asked to do one last link. I actually did not see that, because I was warming up myself, but I could hear the crowd screaming for every new switch and the one thereafter. Matti Rose came over from Berlin. He rode well enough for a fifth place finish and promoted the Berlin City Games, his contest coming up in Berlin on october 8th. Thanks for coming! Fourth was Sebastian Pospischil who had the best Hang-5/Pedal-5/Whiplash combos, doing the tricks the floor was made for: long rolling links. Raphael made the trip from Paris worth it’s while by pumping his way through Hitchhikers, Halfpackers and Steamroller switches. Alex Jumelin had the best tricks and combos of the contest and only a few to many falls in his final run could stop him from taking first place. I was very lucky in the finals and pulled most of the tricks I tried and took home first place. Home to my crowded apartment that is.

Alex and Raphael drove home to Paris.
We had dinner with the Mafia.
Ali went to a club on the Reperbahn.
Daniel Fuhrman and his Eberswalde posse rode my spot.
Asbjoern and Klaas cleaned the terminal.

I had the impression almost everyone went home thinking they had had a good day.
Klaas promised there will be a Flatland contest The Crown 2006 in Hamburg. Whoever did not make the trip this year, think about coming to Hamburg next year. To all the riders who showed up: please come back next year. I will!


1. Steffen Peter
2. Sascha Heydemann
3. Nico Konkel
4. Thomas Hirsch
5. Ben Ofosu
6. Timo Tronschel
7. John Krämer
8. David Hoffmann
9. Christoph Huber
1. Michael Steingräber
2. Alex Jumelin
3. Raphael Chiquet
4. Sebastian Pospischil
5. Matti Röse
6. Markus Reich
7. Wolfgang Sauter
8. Ali Barjesteh

21st of September 2005 - Michael īMike Sī Steingräber