Footbike World Championship 2022 - Estonia
The beautiful Estonian town of Põlva hosted the participants of the biggest footbike event - the Footbike World Championship on 15-17 July 2022. Due to the covid the competition was postponed twice and also affected by the war in Ukraine, Russian and Belarusian athletes could not participate. Estonia is the northernmost of the Baltic countries and the weather during the competition corresponded to that. The rapid alternation of sunny and rainy weather made the course of the nevertheless well-organised competitions very difficult. On the other hand, the temperature of around 15°C cooled down the very warm competitors from all over the world. The Czech Republic, Finland, Estonia and Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, Italy, France, Great Britain, Ukraine, Poland, Austria and Colombia were the most represented. An international friendly mood accompanied the entire three-day competition. The KOSTKA RACING footbike team was represented by the cadet Filip Krečmer, junior Klára Slováková, junior Tomáš Sedlář, veteran Patrik Krečmer and master Věra Vybíralová, who was among the three best Czech nominated adult racers and was therefore presented with a representative tricolour jersey by the Czech footbike Association.
On the first day of competition, the 400m sprints were on the agenda, which took place on the local new athletics oval. The tartan surface was used to propel footbike machines at speeds of almost 40 km/h. The qualifying heat and the subsequent elimination heats were very attractive for the spectators and delivered our first medallists and world champions. Klára Slováková, Patrik Krečmer, Věra Vybíralová became vice champions (2nd place) and Filip Krečmer and Tomáš Sedlář became footbike champions (1st place) for the KOSTKA RACING team. In the qualification rides Filip had the 7th best time in the overall ranking of 74 participants and Tomas even had the 2nd best time.
The next day followed the criterion. Saturday's weather seemed fine at first, but eventually it rained and the race was not without crashes on the otherwise good asphalt surface. The start was held in the newly constructed town square with fans from the competitors' entourages as well as from all over the town and surrounding area. The cadets rode 7 km, women 10 and men 12 km long courses, which with their challenging elevation profile gave everyone a hard time and especially the lighter athletes stood out compared to the sprints. Difficult hills alternated with challenging downhills. The Rýmařov five did not give up and again scored the same result as in Friday's sprints. Filip Krečmer was 1st, Klára Slováková 2nd, Tomáš Sedlář 1st, Věra Vybíralová 2nd and Patrik Krečmer 2nd. Our competing adults missed the world championship titles in criterium by a whisker. Tomáš Sedlář was in the 3rd place among all men and Věra Vybíralová in the 7th place among women.
Saturday afternoon was dedicated to relays, where nations competed together without any club differences. So for the women's relay there were 2 groups and for the men's relay there were 3 groups from the Czech Republic according to the results from the previous two races. Tomas Sedlar of course represented the top from the Czech Republic. This relay won with a very big time advantage over the second Finnish and the third, again Czech, relay. Klára Slováková accepted to participate in the second women's selected group. And so she did, taking second place behind the top Czech selection, beating the third home Estonian relay.
Sunday's long race was a real challenge. Once again, the high-altitude urban course was run along the streets of Polva and adjacent cycle paths, interspersed with road crossings and tunnel underpasses. The course lengths for the cadets were 22 km, 28 km for the women and 39 km for the men. Sweat alternated with tears, which were rewarded with passionate applause from all watching. Each house adjacent to the course had a makeshift garden where entire families watched and cheered on all the competitors, regardless of nationality. And when the cloudy weather turned to a downpour as the men's race got underway, every man, even the strongest man, welcomed this lovely encouragement. The Rhymers fought until the last metres and it paid off. Tomáš Sedlář and Filip Krečmer completed their individual golden hat-trick and Věra Vybíralová and Klara Slováková finally won their coveted championship titles. Patrik Krečmer had to bow to the winner of his category for the third time and thus added a third silver medal to his collection. In the long race Tomáš Sedlář was 2nd overall among men and Věra Vybíralová 5th among women.
The World Championships in Estonia left a deep and unforgettable experience in our competitors. Difficult moments in the races were replaced by wonderful feelings of well-deserved victories. At the World Championship in Põlva, Estonia, the KOSTKA Racing team won 17 medals, 9 of which were gold and 8 silver.
We send the biggest congratulations to our representatives and good luck for the next competitions!