I've been sleeping on this for a while now but since I just got the official press release it's time to let you know. Nelson's favourite son and Wide Open team rider Kelly McGarry has been invited to the Norwegian freeride comp Days of Thunder.
Hafjell, Norway, June 17th 2009 The one and only ANTI Days of Thunder is back for 2009 - from June 29th to July 4th. The unique mountain bike comp unites some of worlds best-recommended riders in easygoing sessions dirt, slopestyle and race relay. The Hafjell Bike Park provides not only high class downhill tracks, but will also be pimped especially for the contest with huge obstacles to launch the pros into the Norwegian sky. The list of riders that will join the ANTI Days of thunder features big names like: Cameron Zink, Cameron McCaul, Alex Reveles, Andrew Taylor, Ben Boyko, Thomas Vanderham, Jordie Lunn, Timo Pritzel, Benny Korthaus, Kelly McGarry, Grant Fielder, Andreu and Lluis Lacondeguy, Yannick Graniery, Pierre Eduard Ferry, Trond Hansen, Mads Andre Haugen and Martin Soderstrom.
In early 2008, Niels Windfeldt, mountain bike athlete and professional film maker, got the idea of bringing his best freeride buddies from all over the world to Hafjell at one time in the year to have a mountain bike competition that nobody had seen before. The main aim was to see each other and have a good time on, as well as off, the bikes: Based on my own experiences with international comps, where fun is not always the synonym, I wanted to create a setting where riders could perform at their own base and most of all: Be able to have fun! The ANTI Days of Thunder concept was born. The ANTI Days of Thunder features just a different approach compared to the conventional competition format: Getting good photos and videos are prioritised over proclaiming a winner. If you have seen last years pictures and clips, you know why. The huge jumps of Timo Pritzel, Trond Hansen or Andreu Lacondeguy combined a lot of airtime, loads of style as well as a breathtaking landscape.
If you thought that these jumps were some hard hitters, then be aware: there is even more to come for 2009: Snorre Pedersen, construction and development manager at Hafjell bike park, and Specialized team rider Trond Hansen are currently working on a one-of-a-kind set up for the ANTI Days of Thunder. The dirt jumps undergo several changes compared to last year and most of the building capacity will be used in the snowboard park next winter. So you can guess that it will be just outrageous big.
To ensure that the riders have an easy and relaxed time without any stress or pressure, the whole competition schedule offers a lot of chill-time in between: the first day is an open day, just to ride and have fun, the second one features the race relay, third day open again, fourth day brings the dirt session on, then one more open day, and the slopestyle and a huge after party hits Hafjell on the last day. The slopestyle and party are open for the public, so get your ass there on Saturday July 4th and cheer for the riders, who are split up in five teams: Canada, USA, Central Europe, Southern Europe and the Scandos. Be aware: the slopestyle is open for viewers only. Media accreditations for photographing or filming will not be given. But be sure to see some great stuff from the photographers Mattias Fredriksson, Joakim Andreassen and Kristoffer Andersson, as well as the filmers Niels Windfeldt and Leif Erik Kleppen.
At the end of the comp, which means the after party, the winning team will be awarded with the ANTI Days of Thunder trophy. All three disciplines, race relay, dirt and slopestyle will count for the overall win. Moreover there will be additional prizes for different things like the worst slam. But however, prizes are not the sole motivation. It is the feeling of the ANTI Days of Thunder as well as having fun that motivates the riders to show the craziest stuff and tricks surrounded by their friends and an amazing landscape.
All the pictures and videos can be seen on: www.antidaysofthunder.com.