Paris Slalom World Challenge 2008

Last week-end, the annual Paris Slalom World Challenge was held in Paris. This is one event in the World Slalom Series, and the PSWC is the one with the highest Rating in Europe (3 Cones), hence the competitors were some of the best freestyle slalom skaters you can find. The location is also one of the best, Trocadéro, in front of the Tour Eiffel.

And of course, with such an Event, the team of 4WheelFreestyle was also at the Event. On Friday, we did a lot of free training and meet & greet. Oh, by the way: Congratulations to this couple! The Friday ended at the place near Hotel d'Invalides, with more skating and meeting more people. The day ended with a trip on the Metro (I need to get another backpack, the existing is too bulky) and a visit to a restaurant that had some interesting wall decorations

Saturday started with the confirmation that you CAN have 4 people in 31m² without people stepping on each other's toes, and also with the confirmation that the French can't Park 😛 So, back to Trocadéro, the sun was burning but luckily there were some clouds to make it endurable. With the lighting being a challenge, it looks a bit like the world is going to end any minute 🙂 During Saturday, the first part of the Men Freestyle Battles started. At the beginning, there were 48 Riders, in 16 groups of 3 each and the first 2 riders to qualify for the next round. Unfortunately, some German Riders already bit the dust during Round 1, finishing 3rd in their group: Thomas Vilcans from 4WheelFreestyle, Bernhard Kuhn and Heiko Bader could already change their plans for Sunday. At the end, 32 Riders were left for Sunday. For 4WheelFreestyle, Rudy Op't Veld and Michel Schulz were successful in this round. (From left to right: Thomas, Rudy, Michel). The day ended at Notre Dame, that beautiful church that attracts a lot of people. It was nice, having all those bystanders and "accidential" visitors.

The final day of the Event - Sunday - started with the Women Battles. With 12 girls competing, we had 4 groups of 3, with the last one being eliminated. Sadly, Miriam Kwasny and Antonia Eggert did not make it past round 1, leaving 8 Riders (what's the female form of Rider by the way? Ridestress?) for the next reound (2 groups of 4). At the end – surprise, surprise – Chloe Seyres of Team Seba won, ahead of Polina Semenova and Nathalie Rager.

Also, Sunday had the Men Finals. 32 Riders in 8 Groups of 4, with the first 2 Riders going to the next round. From the German perspective, we lost Stephan Ullmann, Jan Gresens and André Stepczac on Position 4 and Michel Schulz on Position 3 of their groups. From the remaining three German Riders, Martin Sloboda was eliminated in the Quarter Finals, and Mischa Gurevich (who would later finish 7th) in the Semi-Finals. The Finals had a surprise for us, even though it is not really a surprise if you see the final: Rudy op't Veld finished second, in a Group with Igor Cheremetieff (who won the event), Tiziano Ferrari and Kirill Ryazantsev. In this picture, Rudy is the one with the white shirt and the german flag, Igor is standing right of him (not holding anything), and Tiziano on the left. On the left side of Tiziano, there is Kirill, and on the left side of him, there is Olivier Herrero, the 5th Placed rider.

Needless to say, we were really happy with the week-end, even though I am mentally kicking my ass for forgetting to get sun blocker, and now I've got pretty bad sun burns.. sigh… well, a minor price to pay for this great event!