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Source athlete Hannes Slavik has been sharing his Enduro racing experience with us previously, and now he's back in the swing of things on the 4X Protour again. JBC Revelations didn't quite go to plan though...read on to get the full story behind his dramatic crash from Hannes himself.

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The JBC 4x track is just massive. That said, you can jump everything on the track without even one pedal stroke, which shows how fast the track is even when you just roll down. Racing it with some other guys fighting for positions is mind blowing stuff.

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After winning my previous heats I found myself behind Beckeman, in second place out in lane three. In that semi final I was up against the two locals Beckeman and Strouha, and the third rider was the imposing figure of former World Champion Joost Wichman. You can be sure all those guys pushed it to the limit, over 15m doubles where you still have to brake coming in...

When things don't go as planned...

You can catch the full JBC Highlights Video HERE.

The question there is: HOW MUCH DO YOU BRAKE...

Me and Beckeman jumped far over the first big one. The problem most common with over jumping those doubles is coming out nosy on the last 1/3rd of the airtime. I had that problem and landed flat on my front wheel. I struggled massively, but I was able to stay on the bike until the next take off was right ahead. I was still going way too fast, but it was too late for braking and even correcting my position on the bike proved too much to deal with in such a short space of time.

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I just tried to push it away as hard as I could. Right after the take off I knew that this one was going to be painful. Nosediving and over jumping it by about 4 to 5 meters I had no chance to save it. My instinct said roll it right now, because struggling on the front wheel a few more meters into that tight woods section is for sure not the better option at 50 km/h.

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Right after the first impact I was knocked out. From the next 30 minutes I just have a few short moments of recollection because I was passing in and out of consciousness. My first impression was waking up, lying on the back, already getting prepared for the transport, with all the medics and also my girl bending over me. Feeling my legs in that moment made me realize immediately that I had been very lucky... I told the medics but also said that my back hurts in the middle of it, at the time not knowing that I had an big abrasion there.

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After getting flown to the hospital by helicopter (which I have absolutely no memories of), the medical checks started. CT scans of my head and back came back negative so they removed the neck guard from the transport and my back protector that I still had on. I was fucking scared as they moved me to the bed, couldn’t believe that everything would be ok - but unbelievably it really was!

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About an hour later another quite scary thing was coming up that I had to deal with. I suddenly developed massive double vision, although my eye sight remained sharp. Next morning I had another CT scan of the head but again it showed nothing out of the ordinary. A young eye specialist said that one of the nerves of the eye muscle probably got damaged and that it may require about up to 6 months of healing, she wasn’t even sure it would become 100 % fine again. That was getting me down mentally...

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We drove the 4 hours home from Czech Republic, right to a hospital in Austria with a good neurology department to recheck everything. After 3 days my eyes started to get better and at the moment the double vision is nearly gone.

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My IXS Helmet, Leatt Brace and back protection surely saved me months of rehab. I absolutely know how much luck I had and I want to thank everyone again for their help, the good medical staff, the race organisation itself, and my friends and family who took care of me on that day!

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Enjoy your next ride!

Hannes

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Hannes' 2014 Sponsors: Willi's Reifen, Ghost Bikes, Bikepark Leogang, Reverse Components, Maxxis, Magura, Sun Ringle, IXS, GT BMX, FiveTen, Adidas Eyewear, Gopro, Source, Carbocage, KMC, Leatt Brace, Headstart, Compressport, M.Slavik Photography

Photos by Markus Slavik

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iceman2058 iceman2058 8/4/2014 6:49 AM

2 comments newest first

What a horrific crash ... Like he says in some ways he is really lucky that kinda crash could leave you in the big perma sleep.
I personally think back plates should be mandatory , seems like 7/10 crashes are OTB and onto the back

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Very, very scary stuff. All the best for a speedy recovery.

It shows that a good helmet and appropriate protection are essential when things go wrong. That said and just finishing watching the last dh round - not many riders wear a leatt or body armor - guys (and women) you are the role models for young riders and also are key what is in fashion at the dh tracks on weekends.

Thanks for the inside look and sharing your experience. Very good to read that you are healing up and wearing protection is not useless.

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