Video: Red Bull Fuxjagd Fixed Gear Race
After just a few days at home in Devon where I frantically tried to get some work done, do some training and spend lots of time stroking our four cats, last Thursday I jumped back on a plane and headed off to another European country. This time the destination was Vienna, Austria, a beautiful city on the Danube and the location of Red Bull Fuxjagd.
I kicked off the weekend by popping into the FM4 offices for a live radio chat about women’s cycling and the weekend’s event, a head-to-head fixed gear battle that sees participants pinning through a hunting themed course replete with hay bales and a lederhosen wearing, bugle toting master of ceremonies. Myself and the organisers were very much hoping that we could tempt a few more women to give this informal and fun filled race a go and went all out trying to get more sign ups, right up until the moment the race began. On Saturday morning, the riders assembled for some practice laps on the course, a 200m circuit with chicanes, a couple of bumps and banked turns at each end. It was anybody’s guess whether springing flat out and then skidding to slow before the technical parts was best, or if keeping a smooth cadence was preferable. One thing was for sure, confidence and skill were the best tools for success, but after that came the need for physical fitness – the course took it out of you way quicker than I expected. The atmosphere was super relaxed, the fun format putting everyone at ease. Yes, it was a race so ultimately we all wanted to do well but it reminded me of the kind of races my friends and I used to enjoy before things got so serious at fixed gear crits and the silliness reminded me why I really do need to book a ticket to Paris for the ECMC this summer! After an evening spent hanging out with new friends and eating Sushi (joy!), on Sunday morning we pottered back down to the venue. Myself and Addison Zawada were taking over Red Bull’s Snapchat account so I quickly had it explained to me as I’ve never actually used it before – all the other social media stuff is time consuming enough!
Follow me and @addisonzawada taking over @redbull’s Snapchat today! The Red Bull #fuxjagd heats are about to start here in Vienna @assosofswitzerland @met_helmets @chargebikes A photo posted by Juliet Elliott (@julietelliott) on
It turned out to be pretty fun, so maybe I’ve found a new way to waste time… Myself and three of the other ladies set fast enough qualifying times to make the cut for the main race, so the next day so we lined up in the Rathausplatz for our chance to knock out a few of the guys. There were a lot of super strong riders and I tried hard to copy their lines in and out of the berms but in the end I was eliminated after a tough match against a guy who was clearly faster than I am. My fella Dave Noakes (who has posted a superb write up and some lovely photos on his blog) was eventually knocked out too and joined me and Austin Horse in cheering Addison Zawada and Stefan Schott in the men’s finals. In the end, Addison took the win In the ladies finals, I grabbed the third spot on the podium, joining fellow champs Alice Kralikova and Sami Moreno. Check out my video diary from the weekend and subscribe on YouTube for more.