International Kicksled and Scooter Association

World Scooter Championships 2008

Published September 2008
Photos by Jens Seemann

In Ultima´s point of view At the beginning, this is a report about the World Champs Scootering 2008, from the Ultima´s point of view. I am sorry that I will forget to mention some of you, and some important things that happened during those 3 amazing days in Kampen / Netherlands. This is because I do not remember everything and also I am too lazy to seek for every single medalist of the Champs. Anyway, let´s look at it - how was the 3rd World Champs of the scooter sport.

Our crew consisting of Mr. Liska, Mr. Tlapa, Mr. Hub and me started the journey on Wendesday night. The sun was mysteriously bloody when we were crossing the German borders - may be a warning - the German police stopped us some 5km behind the borders just trying to persuade us not to win the Champs (may be a Lars work::). Our passports were Ok however, and so we continued driving to Kampen, where we arrived around 4 am. Surprisingly a Dutch guide warmly welcomed us in the gym - great.

The night was not really the longest one, however at 1 we were prepared to join the official invitation meeting of all competitors at the starting line at sporting facilities hall. We surprisingly met many new faces there and also most of the old ones - so the glass of Champagne was almost obligatory.

Criterium race
Some 3 hours later we all were standing on the starting line of the 13km city criterium race. Before that, women race had taken place on the same track and surprisingly a Dutch High Level racing team had been dominating this race, when Rosanne Reijne dressed in yellow took gold and Wenda Zuiddam (Dutch Rotterdam team) silver. Martina Smitkova, the Czech rider, was third.

Later, really a huge number of men scooter athletes came together to the starting line. First lap of the race was pretty fast, when Kai Immonen was kicking like crazy, behind him Provod, Pesta, Vierikko and me were trying to close the gap - that happened at the end of the first lap. Then Hannu started to attack, which was really enough for me, so I had to quit - rest of the story is not from my own head therefore…I really do not know what was happening, but i tis sure, that all those guys were coming to the last lap (6th) together. Moreover there was also Rene Elzinga, who had suprisingly caught the group somewhere, which must have been a tough job for sure. First attack came from Provod making him a small gap advantage, then it was Kai Immoen a black favorite of the race keeping the pace in front. Finally it was a tremendous Finish finish of the scooter sport tactics profesor Mr. Hannu Vierikko which brought him a second world criterium title (first in the CZ 2004), Kai was second and Ladislav Provod (CZ) third.

As I was falling down the result list all the time down to some 22nd place, I can tell you what was happening behind the first group. Richard Jisl (CZ) was riding first with Rene (who caught the main group as I mentioned higher) and later he finished 6th. There was also unlucky Hans Korbee (NED) kicking in the front until flatting his tire. Also Lars Kessler (GER) did a fabulous work finishing 7th in front of Igor Ricci (ITA) and his mate Wolfgang Seibel (veteran Winter) Also Gary Schmidt was there (USA) Behind them there was a nice group of may be 10 riders kicking all the time together and finishing in a huge massive sprint for the 12th place - here the Dutch Andre Visscher and Mario Reijne dominated.

The track was nice, tricky but, trusts me, fair. Here just the best could win, this time it was Hannu. We all were tired, but massage, shower and beer put all of us into a good mood. So, we took some pasta, and even more beer talking with Bruce and his wife (amazingly coming from Australia), Gary (yes Gary is back after the Finland Champs) and others, later just walking the nice city of Kampen.

Next day it was a morning 10am start of the sprints qualification - 600m flat track around the round-about and back. I won the qualification and also all the favorites made it to the quarterfinals, also Mr. Liska did so. After the lunch quarters and later semifinals were on. Pesta, Liska, Korbee and me formed the first one and Petr Pesta and me qualified for the final. The second semi was really hard - here Kai Immonen (FIN), Andries Koers (NED - 2003 European sprint Champion), Ladislav Provod (CZ) and Richard Jisl (CZ) battled for the final opportunity and after a slower start Kai and Andries could have been happy.

The women qualification was a little bit shorter and finally Hermien Koers, Rosanne Reijne, Wenda Zuidam (all NED) and Martina Smitkova (CZ) made it up to the finals. Here the favorite Hermien controlled the race to take her second World Champs title (1st CZ 2004) followed by Wenda and Rossanne.

The men final was really fast. I started pretty fast to be first in the round-about and suprisingly I was first in the finish as well (1st on for me). Kai, Andris and Petr came together in 0,5second and finally Kai took his second silver ahead of Andris and Petr.

Later on it was the time for relays. The Fins could not have made the team because of being just two and the Dutch guys did not made the strongest team when dividing themselves into the two comparable relays - so it was a victory for the Czech Republic (Pesta, Provod, Jisl) ahead of Holland I. Our Ultima team was battling for the bronze with the Italians and Holland II. We had a bad luck that day when Mr. Liska fell down and later we punctured the tire as well, so it was finally 6th place. Holland II took the bronze ahead of the Italians and Germany. The Dutch girls won the title with no doubt during the race.

Well, after the dinner, it was a celebration time in the city. We were drinking something with our ULTIMA team mate Arend (NED) and also Lars and Hans Christian (GER). Suprisingly our old time friends entered the ULTIMA K.LAP team that night and so we were celebrating even more, really talking a lot to each other and simply having fun. I really do not know where we were spending the night after all other athletes left the dinner party (I guess the Gerben´s pub somewhere by the river) - just talking with Hannu and some Dutch people later on, coming home late at night.

Luckily the marathon started in the afternoon, so we had some time to recover. In the morning we were beaten by the Dutch national football team in the gym - 2:3 the result was - next time we win for sure: We promise.

A marathon track was not really the hilly one: 42km, wind and just two up hills 2 meters each: All the field, both guys and girls were kicking together.

I promise you, it was one of the nicest races I have ever taken part in (my favorites are also the criterium race EC Italy 2005, marathon WC Finland 2006 and long race Eurocup 2008 Czech). Many people were kicking in front in the first kilometers. Around the 8th Km the leader group consisted of Vierikko, Immonen (FIN), Pesta, Provod and me (CZ), Fede Torti (ITA), Korbee, Elzinga, Koers (NED). Here the Fins and Czechs were keeping the pace. From time to time an attack came from some of them, once Rene Elzinga tried that alone, however the main attack came just around 25km. (I guess, I do not ride with computer:). Here some gap occurred suddenly and despite we have surprisingly almost closed it with Petr Pesta, the first 4 guys attacked again - just when we were some 10meters behind. The first group consisted of Provod, Immonen, Vierikko and Koers that time and it meant no chance for the medal for the rest of us from that point on.

I clearly remember I told Kai at the first lap that he had some problem with his rear wheel -and I was right. Suddenly we were passing him without the wheel and any chances for another medal.

The first group was riding really fast that time on. Attacking again and again, and so later Provod was not able to hold on. In the last lap it was the battle of Andries and Hannu. I think Hannu tried it first in the last small uphill trying to left Andries behind in the short downhill section of the track. Andries was still there, however, when Hannu looked over the shoulder and that meant the end for the professor of the scooter sport: So, it was the first World title for Andries, one more medal for Hannu, and second bronze for Ladislav Provod.

Behind, René Elzinga did not make any fast attack, but keeping the pace he left us somehow. We tried our best to catch him, but with no results. So Rene was 4th and when Petr Pesta tried to escape in the same point s Hannu, I kicked with him to make some gap. We sprinted to the line and finally Petr did it tire ahead of me. Hans was some 5 seconds back and Kai Immonen surprisingly returned to the race on the Czech scooter, finally beating Igor to take 8th position.

Then there was a 4 minutes gap and others started to come to the finish, mostly alone, sometimes in a group. What a wonderful race!!!

The ladies field was kicking slowly (they told us) and so it was a pretty fast last lap, which was ok for Hermienn Koers - she took his second gold of the Champs. The High Level girls were not far behind.

Later we had a huge dinner, extra massage and all of us were ready for the party. That time it was an open air one at the bank of the river with live music and fireworks. We had a lot of fun together - just one big family of a small but wonderful sport.

Thanks to all organizers - Thijza, Gerben, Eric, Arend and many many many more. Thanks also to Lars and Hans to join the international ULTIMA K.LAP TEAM. Thanks to Hannu for some beers and sponsoring us later on. Many thanks to Thijza for the official flag, we have it in our ULTIMA club-house. More thanks to Petr Hub for full support and beer support, the Dutch guys for the football match (we are back next time:) and also many thanks to all I have not thanked.

All the best to Hermien, next time kicking under another name may be, but hopefully she will still be there - as well as all other freaks - Gary and his team, Bruce, Iversen guys, all the Italian team (hope the ankle is ok) and many, many more. We are back for sure next year in the Czech Republic European Champs 2009.

See you later and keep on kicking. Jan Vlasek

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