Profile – Herbi Thaler(C), Philps Gruber, Michi Stanschitz
Dubbed the ‘Beasts from the East’, Team Absolut has been one of the most consistent, powerful and dangerous line up’s ever to compete at the Vans Wängl Tängl. Seen and understood internally as the ‘El Classico’ derby match – Salzberger Land meets Tirol – in a no holds barred, pedal to the metal match up. As it stands, the historical match up is tied for the time being, with Team Absolut taking the Wängl Tängl Title in 2010, before being edged out into 3rd place in 2011 by locals, Team 96 and The Djudes. There is no doubt they will arrive in Mayrhofen fully fit and fired up looking to take the Vans Wängl Tängl 2012 title and Derby honors back east with them again.
The Absolut Park in Flachauwinkl, one of the best home training grounds in Austria, if not the world, where team riders of Captain Herbi Thaler, Phips Gruber and Michi Stanschitz spend the entire season honing their team skills before mounting their annual Tirol marauding party. Team Absolut, part of the Wängl Tängl since 2008, they took only one year to work out their team strategy, they won or podiumed in the competition almost ever since.
Heading into last years event as odds on favorites, when disaster struck. “Everything was fine we allready had our run and we all felt pretty good with the park and the set up…” said team Caprain Herbi Thaler, “Right up until the last very last warm up run. I really can’t work it out, I clammed bad on the run out of the last jump on the run in to the Red Bull end section. Just caught and edge and fell on my shoulder. In a second – I was out.” he concluded. While this was obviously a shock, once it was worked out that the injury was mainly a bruising putting Herbi out for a week or so, Team Absolut immediately pulled Thomas Minichberger off the bench making their third placing even that much more impressive.
Looking at the next edition of the of the Vans Wängl Tängl and the continuation of the ‘El Classico’ derby hositities, Herbi replied, “This year’s Wängl Tängl is going to be even harder, especially with the Qualification element, but we’re definitely coming in hot! Not only do we want the title back, but it would definitely mean something special to take home 10-Year Anniversary Vans Wängl Tängl Title.
There is no doubt that Team Absolut will be looking hard at the podium again for 2012.
Watch Team Absolut taking the Title at the Wängl Tängl 2010:
Kicker Line Check – Herby Thaler - Wängl Tängl 2009:
Alternative Line Check – Michi Stanschitz & Phips Gruber – Wängl Tängl 2009: