Sportmediapics manfred binder2

Copyright: Manfred Binder

Vienna Airport is actually located in Schwechat and that’s in Lower Austria and I’m not really 2 metres tall (6’7’’) but only 1.95 metres (6’5’’). You always orientate yourself to the next bigger one, the same goes for the motorcycle mountain race “Landshaag – St. Martin”. In fact, you only go from Oberlandshaag to the bus stop Oberhart, which is the suburb of the suburb of the main town. The main town is called Feldkirchen an der Donau. But that’s actually not so important. The main thing is that bikers can race through the landscape at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).

Sportmediapics manfred binder1

Copyright: Manfred Binder

The most important thing to know, after you have found the place, is that the mountain race “Landshaag – St. Martin” is the fastest motorcycle mountain race in Europe. Say whaaat? Yes, it is. A brief history: In 1979, the men of the MSC Rottenegg thought, why only secretly racing at night, it would be better for the spectators and in general if it was officially organised. Of course, that’s not true, it’s just speculation, except for the year, but a bit of myth and legend never hurts. The legendary race track, on which almost 300 participants now experience their adrenaline high in different racing classes (including historical ones) every year, has a length of 3620 metres (3959 yards) and a difference in altitude of 230 metres (252 yards), and can be divided into four sections:

Sportmediapics manfred binder3

Copyright: Manfred Binder

1. Right behind the fire station, the improvised pit lane made of tents from the hardware store ends and the race track begins; the fans are standing behind the fences, cheer and take pictures of you in your leather garb; your gaze sees the starting line and goes slightly uphill; watch out: wheelie danger. And now: it’s only full throttle or nothing! Go!

2. A little bend, slightly leaning into it, but make sure you don’t skid off the road; then keep straight; end of town, slight incline and go straight for almost 1.1 km (0.68 miles); you now reach a top speed of up to 300 km/h (186 mph); don’t fool around because the section ends right after entering the forest.

3. The forest section is about 600 metres (656 yards) long and just ahead of you is a sharp S-bend which requires strong braking; NO, not so much, the S-bend allows a speed of 100 km/h (60 mph); now, you should have good knee pads, otherwise you’ll skin your knees; at the end the “home bend” or “Mutkurve” (bend of courage) follows, as Toni Rechberger, 57 years and twofold winner, calls it and which he handles at, no kidding, 250 km/h (155 mph). Accelerate again, you must.

4. The forest is followed by fields and instead of flat ground, it goes uphill again and all you have to do is take a gentle and long right-left turn; you will reach the finish at up to 260 km/h (162 mph); now just coast to a stop and enjoy it.

If you feel like it now, you can already sign up for April 2018 and let 14,000 spectators and an almost 2-metre guy cheer you across the finish line. And if you don’t see me, I’ll bring along the foghorn.


All photos copyright Manfred Binder


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