|Date: august 24-25, 1996.
Medias: BMXicos #2 janvier 1997, Ride BMX UK december 1996.
Place: Southsea, Hampshire, UK.
Organisation: Catlow family.
John Taylor won the 1996 King Of Concrete title, and bagged over £750 into his wallet for the trouble.
King of Concrete: John Taylor.
Prince of Concrete: Darren Claggett.
|Ride BMX UK december 1996: King Of Concrete always promises one of he best comps the year, certainly in Europe. The combination of mini ramp, vert, street, flatland, funbox, and the unique bowl comp results in high expectations for KOC year in year out. This year Geoff Catlow raked in considerable sponsorship and the pros were even going to win big money: I'll say this straight out right now - Geoff and the Southsea locals really pull out the stops every year to put on a great contest, and they deserve big props for their efforts. This year, like every year, the format of KOC changed, and the contest was changed around: last year's street event was split into two groups 'street' and 'funbox' [to prevent street from turning into just another jumping event] and the A group bowls comp was now no more - this was replaced by pro funbox. What - KOC without Dennis Wingham flipping out of the peanut on his way to a 540 in Satan's Toilet ?
Stéphane Piton, BMXicos janvier 1997: Où sont passés les rois du béton ? En ont-ils marre de se rayer les coudes à Asphalt Land ? Cette année Southsea n'a pas été la ville du BMX lors de ce week-end de fin août. Néanmoins, on a pu noter la présence d'une dizaine d'étrangers en plus des français. Il semble que le KOC se meure un peu plus chaque année. Toujours le même lieu, toujours la même date, toujours les mêmes têtes, les riders paraissent fatigués et semblent avoir envie de renouveau, surtout quand le temps de fin août ressemble déjà à celui des jours d'automne. Donc on était un peu déçu même si on aime bien le bon air de cette chère Angleterre. On espère que la famille Catlow (organisateurs) trouvera quelque chose pour relancer ce contest qui pendant des années a fait le bonheur de centaines de riders européens.
Apart from pro funbox and lots of B group contests the other main event was Saturday night - but of course.
|Novice bowls: 1.Daniel Barnes 2.Simon Parnell 3.John Sharpe|
|Ride BMX UK december 1996: Word of mouth said that the main thing about Saturday's events was Richard Brown's flip in pro funbox. It was huge, rotated very slowly, and practically cleared the whole funbox landing ramp - but still landed smoothly. However, local Ronnie Remo beat Richard Brown into third place, and winner of the main event was a jonnie foreigner who nobody had heard much of before - Sven Fanghaenel was the name on everyone's lips and he was going to be talked about much more as Sunday's contests progressed. 4th pro funbox man was Steve Grace - Steve popped some of the biggest variations of the day, including his ridiculous nothing seatgrab variations, with people turning to each other and asking "Did he really pull that back in ?"||Expert fun box: 1.Sven Fanghaenel 2.Ronnie Remo 3.Richard Brown|
Ride BMX UK december 1996: King Of Concrete always makes for one of the best flatland contests on the calendar, with a silky smooth surface, a nice big area, and good field of riders, the KOC flatland title is pretty highly rated. Hence twelve top blokes entered - well, David Frame and John Taylor aren't flatland specialists, but they still pulled some nice stuff on their roads to the overall title. But pro flat was a strong field and those who stayed to watch were entertained with technically superb riding from all involved. The top five went down like this: Effraim Catlow rolled through his controlled, albeit slow, routine, with a couple dabs. The local is clean, but some would say he needs to speed up his riding. Whatever, Effraim did good here, 4th was the OG. OG Marton - OG had unique tricks, traditional tricks, and a quick style, 3rd was Massabova. He'd come a long way to ride here at KOC and made his journey well worth whith a clean run scored himself third place. In second was one of the main favourites - certainly a ton of smart money was riding on him for the win. As soon as the jungle kicked in we knew that Phil Dolan was up for another mindblowing run - and he definitely delivered, Double hitchikers, opposite pinkies, no footed pinky squeaks, and much, much more. 1st place however went to someone who flowed me a ton of Dragonfly goods about half an hour earlier, He's the main man in Germany, a country which is full of quality flatlanders - Michael Steingraber even has a set of signature pegs out on DF, and currently he owns ground riding on the continent. Michael has style which makes his tricks look easy, and he pulls his stuff solid and clean.
|C group flatland: 1.Steve Jones 2.Stephane Piton 3.Scott Spencer
B group flatland: 1.Alex Jumelin 2.James Needham 3.Alexandra Schramn
Michael Steingraber. Photo by Mark Noble.
Effraim Catlow. Photo by Mark Noble.
A group flatland: 1.Michael Steingraber 2.Phil Dolan 3.Alain Massabova 4.Marton OG 5.Effraim Catlow
|Ride BMX UK december 1996: Sven Fanghaenel rocks, and indeed, he rules - he won pro street with some enormous jumps and good lines and maybe even a wallride or two on the fence. He had more lines that anyone [apart from Dan Price perhaps and maybe Jon Taylor], and topped it off with huge 360s. Sven was indeed the man we had heard him to be. Jamie Bestwick flipped and pulled 360s so big they would make Vlad The lmpaler cry into his nappies. He also had lines over the hips and big airs on the quarterpipe. Street riders had two runs and by the time the first lot had ridden it was clear that the riders with the variations and good lines around the course would win the day so the funbox played a big part, but not as big as previous years: street was not merely a jumping comp. Good. John Taylor got 3rd in street, well on his way to scoring enough overall points to go for the overall title of King Of Concrete, along with the big wedge that come with it. Flips, flip no the quarter, and lines from ramp to spine. John was on the road to KOC Champion. Halfway through street the heavens opened and it chucked it with rain for a while. Riders grouped under shelter; and most headed to the bandstand thing to check out the flat or jam circle which was taking place.||Novice street: 1.Gogo 2.Karl Pentalow 3.Darryl Charles
A-group street: 1.Sven Fanghaenel 2.Jamie Bestwick 3.John Taylor
Ride BMX UK december 1996: Next year the ramp map be replaced in the biggest shake up of the skatepark since it opened, but for now the vert ramp had been tinkered with for the comp making it a bit easier to ride. But all was not ideal - the win had really picked up and it was a few notches down from feeling like a gale. Braving the vert ramp were just five riders in pro. David Frame, Mike Canning, John Taylor, Marcus Grempel and Mike Mullen. And curiously enough they finished in that order. David Frame got 5th, with another repetition of 540s pumping them out like a sausage machine, and a few variations. The overall title was in his sights. Mike Canning hasn't competed in vert for bloody years even though back in 'the day' when he rode for Skyway he was easily one of the most aggressive and rad riders in the country, tearing up those BFA quarterpipes. But he still has the style and favour today - 540, one foot x-ups, killer lookbacks, and more. John Taylor was also on his way to the overall title, and he was looking pretty damn strong in vert too - front wheel manuals, lip tricks both ways, big airs, and more. Marcus Grempel had red accessories on his bike and some over-rotated airs. They were ever-rotated because ol' Marcus was riding on the ragged edge - limbs everywhere, all coming off, twists, the works. Was Hugo Gonzales in the house? In first though was the smoothest and clearest rider of the day, Mike Mullen. Somehow the wind did nothing to affect Mike' runs, and he appeared to have no worries at nine foot plus. Clicked variations, a large 540, and lip tricks all amounted to Mike taking home the deserved win. We still don't know how Mike managed to ride with that wind going on.
|C group halfpipe: 1.Simon Parnell 2.Paul Meacher 3.Darren Charles
B group halfpipe: 1.Ronnie Remo 2.Sven Fanghaenel 3.Scott Maylon
A group halfpipe: 1.Mike Mullen 2.Marcus Grempel 3.John Taylor 4.Mike Canning 5.David Frame
|Ride BMX UK december 1996: The mini ramp had been added to, in the shape of a raised box on the back The box was about 3ft high and 18 inches behind the coping, and was soon the centre of attention for everyone's runs. A posse of ten A group mini ramp riders assembled and ripped the crap outta the sub-box during practice, it was going to be interesting to see how the box would affect people's runs once the flow was going. 10th Andrew Smith will blast anything above a ramp, and sure enough he blunted the sub-box. His yellow Pornstar took him through it, and those blue parts sure looked nice. 9th Marcus Grempel. Manualed and flawed but fell a couple times. 8th David Frame, another hot contender for the overall KOC title. He entered everything, and his mini ramp runs were pretty OK too - front wheel abubaca on she sub-box, and generally clean ramp riding were his strong points, 7th Waddy. The man from the G-Sport Factory team will ride for no-one else, and why should he? He's getting the best parts in the business for free, so why change? His patented green Wunder Bars were steered through some gnarly stuff on she sub Hang-5 manual rolls along the length of it, and of course pulled back into the ramp, were the main features. Waddy rocks. 6th Darren Bailey jumps like a loon and can also ride mini ramps pretty good too. He went for some big stuff, but had some hot competition in front of him. 5th John Taylor is renowned for his skills, and he sure got them out during mini ramp. The sub box was used for almost every other trick, and his runs were packed with variety and tricks done both ways. Front wheel manuals, plenty of techno stuff, and big moves. 4th Richard Brown has been making his name on mini ramps recently with good places in Germany [at the Worlds] and also at the BCR Bath Jam. Here, solid runs and canadian nosepicks pulled on the sub-box, along with nosepick to barspin re-entries scame in good for Richard. He also tried a barspin from a Canadian on she sub-box. Balls the size of melons. 3rd Mason Smith has also been rocking the house in various mini ramp contests, making him easily one of the raddest shop-owner-riders in the country. Toothpicks to barspin, toothpicks on the sub-box, manuals, and even icepick to fakie on the sub-box gave Mason a well deserved third place, Go buy some stuff from Custom Riders, right now! 2nd Jamie Bestwick is solid as rock on any ramp you throw under his tyres. Jamie is rad, and you don't need to say much more than that. Along with one of the finest vert riders in Europe, Jamie can also hold more than his own on the mini ramp. Techno and flow, and burly too. Jamie is big and clever. 1st Sven Fanghaenel not only had the coolest name in A group, but he also had the best tricks in the class. Not to say the other riders sucked, but Sven really did have the best moves. Tailwhip nosepicks, decade tyretaps, and more. Sven took his runs to the bridge. He also went for the biggest mini ramp move of the day - an icepick on the back rail of the new sub box. Sure, Dave Mirra icepicked the mini ramp rail last year with epic ease, but the rail on top of the sub-box was a good couple feet higher, plus he had to launch over the sub-box itself to get onto it. Sven didn't quite pull it but with tricks this big Sven really did deserve the win. Great stuff indeed.||C group miniramp: 1.Llyod 2.Paul Meacher 3.James Witt
B group miniramp: 1.Mike Schemisier 2.James Moon 3.James Hitchcock
John Taylor. Photo by Mark Noble.
A group miniramp: 1.Sven Fanghaenel 2.Jamie Bestwick 3.Mason Smith 4.Richard Brown 5.John Taylor 6.Darren Bailey 7.Waddy 8.David Frame 9.Marcus Grempel 10.Andrew Smith