A new year has started and soon enough an invitation arrived from the guys from Asphalt Distribution in France for another edition of the now famous Circle Cow. Carhartt got hooked as the main sponsor so the Carhartt Circle Cow 2005 tournament was born. Held on the weekend of 12 & 13 Februari in Servon, a town close to Paris in the same hall as all the previous years.
We went down there on Saturday morning with two cars packing the best of the best of the Dutch flatland scene: James Alberto, Sytse Winkel and Dutch Destroyer Bram Verhallen (FLATtv rider). Plus me, mr. FLATtv and my wife Francis. After a 5-hour ride through some pretty nasty weather we arrived at the scene of the crime and met up with some of our friends from all over Europe: Czech riders with Mirek Hanzl, London Ripper (and FLATtv rough rider) Jason Forde, James Smith & Gareth Hawkins, Stuttgart Boyz Flo & Ass and Sven Steinbach from Karlsruhe. Of course also all our French friends like Alex, Jimmy, Yannick, Stephanie, Arnaud, Cedric Decosse and all the others. Viki Gomez was there, he and Alex were riding the new prototype KGB frames. We were welcomed by organisers Pascal and Ismael, they made sure we didn't miss out on anything.
The french flatland scene was well represented, although I missed some people like Francis Bessiere, Cedric Borghy (Stereo Panda Crew) and Armin Batoumeni, some more Germans came over on Sunday, they had an accident 40 km from Paris and totally wrecked their (rental) car! Nobody gut hurt though! Bad luck for Benjamin Grossjohan and friends but they got there after all and rode in the comp on Sunday! That's the way: keep your head up and get on with it! Sam Foakes was there too, a crew from Belgium with Alexis Bracke and even some guys from South America!
The comp was good, everyone had only one run though, so no qualifiers: one run and that's it! Some people liked it, some didn't. For a filmers standpoint two runs is better because you get more footage, more angles and riders in different outfits but I wasn't complaining.
There were different stands who sold clothing, parts, frames, bikes and
all kinds of other stuff. A food and drink stand and two dj's were
kicking it with cool hip-hop music and some nice turntabelism skills.
All the classes were filled with enthousiastic riders, everybody giving
it their best shot, remember: one run is all you get! It is good to see
that the riders are really progressing, I've been coming to Circle Cow
for 3 years now and riders who rode in Amateur back then are now riding in Master Class (Geatan Bain for example).
And lots of new young riders were having a lot of fun riding their runs
cheered on by their parents. Pascal and Ismael are really doing some
good with their Servon Flatland Club, stimulating young kids to take up
this wonderful art called flatland.
Last years Master Class riders Gregory Gonzales and Bram Verhallen moved on to Pro Class giving other riders a chance to take the top places in that class. But french Master heavy-hitters Florian
Guilteaux, Pierre Fabre and Florent Guyennon didn't ride very well and
didn't impress the jury. German Trickmachine Manuel Ortiz wasn't riding as solid as usual but well enough for a 6th place. Dutch supertalent Sytse Winkel took the 4th place with nice steamroller- and
halfpackercombos. Nicolas Ferrando did some crazy original front-wheel scufftricks and pulled a lot of his links for a 2nd place in Master.
French Easyroller Michael Husser however rode a very good run pulling a lot of his beautifull rolling links with lots of flow and style:
halfpackers, no-handed hang-5s, hitchhikers and backpackers in
16 riders started in Pro Class: Mirek Hanzl from the Czech Republik had bad luck again and totally screwed up his run which is a sure example of why the saying "people get what they deserve" is a load of bull because Mirek is probably one of the nicest guys on the planet! British Boy Wonder James Smith had attracted the same bad luck, so did Stephane Suini and Christophe Dassier. They didn't pull much either. Gregory Gonzales did a good thing by moving to Pro Class because his high-speed links got him in 9th place. London Local and St. Germain rider Jason Forde pulled some very cool combos out of his bag but couldn't quite nail it all down so he had to be content with 8th place. Carlos Leal took 7th place with some nice high-energy links and Stereo Panda Soldier Raphael Chiquet took him and his prototype frame to 6th place with some wild, explosive combos and tricks. Dutch Destroyer Bram Verhallen pumped out some of his original stuff and superhard tricks to finish 5th in Pro. Sven "Flowmotion" Steinbach pulled a solid run just like we expect from this friendly German rider for 4th place! Sam Foakes rocked the house with his original tricks like time-machine to decade and no-footed cliffhanger to take 3rd place. Alex didn't ride so well and didn't pull much but then again who can blame him because the stuff he does is so hard: mad whiplash combos with nasty jumpswitches and fire-hydrant pinkies to spinning wheelchair to name just some of his signature moves. Second place for the new KGB agent. Well, that leaves only one! Yesyes! Spanish Matador and KGB top assasin Viki Gomez pulled one of his best runs I ever saw him pull: the hardest shit and he pulled almost everything! Clean! Clean? Yes, I said c-l-e-a-n! Lots of switchfooted tricks, crossfooted, turbining, jumpswitches and if you wondered why he put his back brake back on? Check out FLATtv 5 and you'll see just why! Flowing from the front to the backwheel in crazy Viki-style! I heard some people say that he wasn't really progressing because he had his hands full with the KGB company.... Wrong baby! Viki took first place and showed us all this weekend that he is still one of the best flatlanders in the world! Period!
"Pictures by Bram Verhallen"