German Urban Freeride Showdown|
Thursday, September 16, 2004
24 - 26 September 2004
RIDE TO THE LAKE - International Urban Freeride Contest in Meersburg at Lake Constance, Germany
For one weekend, between the 24th and 26th of September, the historic old town Meersburg at Lake Constance will become Europe’s Urban Freeride Mecca. Some of the world’s best freeriders will come all the way from Europe, Canada and the US to Southern Germany for the new RIDE TO THE LAKE CONTEST 2004 at the end of this month to demonstrate their freeride skills in of front judges, spectators and the media - all going for a cash and prize purse of 20,000 Euros. Invited riders who have already confirmed their participation are Kyle Strait, Wade Simmons, Aaron Chase, Cedric Gracia, Darren Berrecloth, Gareth Dyer, John Cowan, Eric Porter, Randy Spangler, John Jesme, Jordie Lunn, Niels Peter Jensen, Kyle Ebett, Richard Gasperotti, Samuel Zbinden and Chris Smith as well as the German freeriders Carlo Dieckmann, Markus Wallborn, Mario Lenzen, Jan Stoetzer and Joscha Forstreuter.
RIDE TO THE LAKE is the first of its kind in Urban Freeride. The picturesque town of Meersburg will host a competition which throws the best of all freeride worlds together, giving every type of rider the chance to show how it’s done. The contest will be judged in seven zones as riders go from the top to bottom of the historic town, twisting through alleys, finding ahead of them big step ups and downs, wallrides, dirt jumps, big drops, street ramps, stair gaps and even some north shore stunts. The one kilometre long diverse course with a descent of 150 vertical metres includes lots of built obstacles that will challenge the best for pure balls and style. Each zone includes a variation of lines which will be judged individually. Furthermore, riders will be judged on Style, Flow, Difficultly of Move and Creativity.
What makes a historic old town like Meersburg, in which several parts of town are listed as a historic monument, think of organising one of the most innovative freeride events in Germany? "Like many things in life, this happened by accident," says Gesa Meyer-Wiefhausen, director of Meersburg Tourism. "Cory Moore, a Canadian freerider who is now our competition manager for the event, is married to a German, who is from the Lake Constance area. About two years ago, Cory came to Meersburg on a sightseeing tour. When he saw our twisted alleys with many steps and stair gaps he was stoked and immediately said that this would be the perfect location for an urban mountain bike event, and he approached our mayor with his idea." When Gesa Meyer-Wiefhausen started her job as tourism director about one and a half years ago, mayor Heinz Tausendfreund immediately confronted her with the idea to organise a mountain bike freeride event in Meersburg and she was thrilled.
"It was our goal to promote Meersburg internationally and create awareness through new happenings. Until now, Meersburg was focused on cultural events, a sports event was a total new issue. And when entering a new area, we wanted to do something special and not the 100th adaptation of a public town marathon. After all, from the tourist point of view, Meersburg is also a very special place."
There is indeed a reason why the small town at Lake Constance, which has only 5,500 inhabitants but over 1 million visitors per year, is called the Jewel of Lake Constance. Meersburg has the oldest occupied fortress in Germany as well as a beautiful baroque castle. Due to the many historic half-timbered houses, the entire up and downtown were listed as historic monument 50 years ago. Unique is also Meersburg’s topography. The picturesque old town is nestled into a mount at Lake Constance - a perfect film setting and a venue that could not be better for an Urban Freeride Contest.
With the RIDE TO THE LAKE CONTEST, organiser and promoter Meersburg wants to set a new benchmark. To reach that goal they have pulled an expert into their team: Germany’s freeride star and insider Tarek Rasouli. "We are really happy that we could win Tarek for our event," says Gesa Meyer-Wiefhausen, who worked for several major sports events before she came to Meersburg. "With him and his contacts to sponsors and to the international freeride community our project has entered a new dimension."
On Saturday, September 25th the qualification takes place between 13h30 and 17h30. Riders have to take runs to qualify for the finals, which take place on Sunday, September 26th between 13h30 and 16h30. The best 20 riders from the qualifier will enter the finals and compete for their share of the total prize money of 20,000 Euros.