15th October 2016
Standard Bowl, Sydney
National Series Round 1 - Sydney
The first round of our new roller racing national series, Smokin' Rollers, was also in our backyard. Thankfully a few of our mates showed up and we managed to pack the Standard Bowl in Surry Hills. You can relive all the action below, or click here to see the full results. Think you can go faster? Check out our upcoming events for your opportunity to show us all how it's done.
It was the showdown that at least one person (who, for reasons of anonymity, shall be referred to simply as Yulia T) was dying to see – Bon Soy vs $ummer$. It was a massacre (with Bon Soy going on to take out 3rd place overall).
What broken shoulder?
There’s tough and then there’s tough. And then there’s Lizanne. The queen of Sydney’s roller racing scene looked hungry for another win, despite being reduced to only one arm.
Heats are all about strategy. You want to save energy for finals, but you still need to qualify. The higher you qualify, the easier your path should be. So should you go hard, or cruise through (hoping others will do the same)? Do you play a bit of cat-and-mouse and limp over the line into finals, before exploding when it counts? Or do you make a statement with a blisteringly fast heat - and plant a seed of doubt inside the other competitor's heads? Dilemma, thy name is roller racing.
Battle of the buzzcuts
Always fashionably on-point, and effortlessly charming on the rollers, the ladies always swoon when roller racing pioneers Bobby Dazzla (aka Gonzo the Great) and Esjay take the stage.
Once a few hot times had been posted in the heats, the overall intensity lifted as competitors started to sweat on the few remaining slots for the finals.
Backpacks & utility belts
All show AND all go, a few of our courier friends have a hard time clocking off the tools. Handing out the hurt to the other competitors via special delivery, imagine how fast they’d be without the gear?
With the heats done and won, the fastest 8 ladies progressed to the finals. Lizanne was looking strong, but mortal (on account of a broken shoulder), while 2015 winner Kanae looked to have plenty still in the tank. Pep and Shaz are always there or thereabouts - meaning this one would go right down to the wire. What followed was some of the fiercest female roller racing we've ever seen, with a number of the ladies posting faster times than the top-20 guys.
Pep posted the fastest time of the night (which would go unbeaten) in her first final to send a clear message – 2016 could be her year. The other girls responded strongly – by placing stickers on their faces. Warpaint on, the battle raged.
In contrast to the ladies, the men's finals were a wide open field, with a number of unknown quantities staking their claim. 2015 winner Sefa looked sharp, while Bon Soy and Bobby Dazzla were turning back the clock with some smoking hot times. Then there were some speedy newcomers in G-Banger and DLake (who posted a scorching time and then promptly disappeared). It threw what might otherwise have been best laid plans into chaos as each finalist now had to watch their back from all sides, not knowing where the next surprise would come from.
Red bike blues
With the increased competition came increased, and yet possibly totally justified, paranoia. Was the red bike slightly faster? Or was it the blue one? Everyone was one edge, looking for the smallest advantage.
Rising above it all
Then the system, possibly as a result of the furious racing, or the increased scrutiny, started to wilt under the pressure – falling apart completely in the men’s grand final. Thankfully, the riders took it like pros.
Lizanne pipped Pep by less than a pickled pepper in an instant classic to claim her millionth title (for the first time against doctor’s orders). Pep knows she has clocked the fastest time and will already be plotting for 2017.
It was a case of having nothing left to give. The system was exhausted, the riders were exhausted, we were all exhausted. So we forked out for both grand finalists to take home the chocolates in a dramatic draw. Congrats guys.