19 September 2004. Cologne, Germany. At 16:00hrs the IFMA Bike Challenge King Of Dirt Finals were on the program. The set up was the same as last year. A drop in ramp followed by 3 sets of fairly easy double jumps that were shared by BMX and mountain bike riders over the weekend.
13 riders made it to the finals. 12 actually qualified but somehow they forgot Andreas Kittel on the score sheets (he had tied with 2 other people in the qualifiers). Big surprise was the appearance of David Theissen in the finals. The 9 year old HARO/Ferdi Fuchs rider cleared all sets on his 16 inch bike! He might have got some kid-bonus points in the qualifying round to make it to the main event but it sure was cool to see him jump all sets on his little Mirra machine.
The crowd got into it after Lars from Mars pumped them up. David was competing against the likes of Frenchies Dropsy, Nicolas Lefevre and BiBi and also home favorites Benni Paulsen, Markus Hampl, Andreas Kittel, Bodo Hellway, Bernd Filsner, Benni Korthaus and surprise act Axel Juergens.
Axel had the choice of going to a USA contest or a European one and chose for Cologne to represent in the King Of Dirt and brush up on his German. Axel has actually bought some CD-s on how to speak German and he's doing really well: "Wie bitte?" and also "Ich habe durst und will trinken bier, viel!". Nice one.
The finals were a 30 minute jams session. Favorite jumps by most were the superman seat grab, 360-s and tailwhips. Things got wild when the flips came out and combinations of 360-s, whips and barspins. If these tricks are not hard enough, it was time to do them opposite, meaning the other direction of where you normally turn to. Check the pics and try to figure out who did what.
When the dust was settled (there was a lot of dust) it was Romuald Noirot who took home the biggest check before flying back to France. The French MacNeil rider is leaving for the USA to do some more riding (including the Vans contest in Oceanside) before flying to some little French Island near South Africa to do a show for one day. Things have changed since first time I picked him up to do a show in Italy at an airforce base, spending 38 hours in the Iveco truck and sleeping on the marble floor for 3 hours before doing a show on strange ramps. As long as BB keeps picking up the biggest checks he won't have to worry about traveling in ghetto style. BiBi is a superstar, he proved it once again.
Click here for more pictures on this article.