World & Pan American Speed Teams
World Inline Downhill 2008
This Austria's village welcomed for the second time the élite of downhill riders after the wonderful event carried out in 2003.
The Austrian Daniel Ladurner was confirmed World Champion, winning with 2m07s72 overcoming the French Harry Perna (FRA, 2m08s86) and his team mate Dominik Dobler (AUT, 2m10s10).
Among the ladies, the new World Champions is the French rider Severine Thomas (FRA) with 2m18s00 who gained over her team mate Marjorie Phlippoteau (FRA, 2m19s43) ,while the Austrian Sandra Ladurner (AUT, 2m29s58) arrived at the 3rd place.
Dr. Roberto Marotta -President of the Comité International de Course (CIC)- attended the event stressing FIRS and CIC support for the development and promotion of inline dowhill.
It’s the World Championships and its pretty darned exciting. All the stars are here and everyone is so fast you can get whiplash as they whizz by. But while most people are watching the skaters, I’m looking at their feet.
As a provider of speedskating equipment, one of the reasons I came to the Worlds was to see what the skaters were wearing. I’ve been counting boots, frames and wheels in my little notebook and I’ve gotten more than one weird look from a skater who was not too weary coming off the track to notice that I had a strange preoccupation with his gear.
It was a little easier to watch the custom bootmakers at work, ‘cause everyone watches them. Most of them are here – masters like Inze Bont and Luigino Verducci and his once-apprentice Sergio McCargo, and Davide Mariani.
What’s interesting is that they all have different techniques and theories about what makes the best boot. Sergio has a whole litany of fancy equipment like calipers and a plumb line and makes furious notes about the skater’s history and takes precise measurements of the feet.
Inze Bont does it all by feel and seems to have a particular confidence, although he is the only one who believes in casting socks. Luigino’s foot molding seems like artistry and there is something just shy of a sensuality about the way he wraps the plaster around a person’s foot.
But in talking to them, I discovered that ultimately they have similar ideas about how to make a perfect boot. They all pay a lot of attention to the alignment of the skater’s knees and legs and are correcting a general tendency of skaters to get too low when the casts are on. “You may think you skate like that, but you don’t” Inze gently tells one customer, reminding me of all the times during training sessions I thought I was skating impossibly low only to have the coach tell me I needed to get a lot lower.
They all also agree that there is artistry to the sanding of the cast after its been made. The boot needs to be squeeze the foot slightly in the correct places or the boot will be too big. Essentially, you need to sand away the fat parts of the foot but you need to know not to sand away the bony parts or the skater will be in a lot of pain. How do you tell from a cast that a foot is fat or bony? “By looking at it” says Sergio obviously. I guess these guys know their feet.
Since coming to Gijon, I have a new-found respect for the folks who make custom boots. This is not something you read in “bootmaking for dummies”. This is a form of art, and I walk away awed knowing I have just seen the masters at work
It’s Sunday evening and Morgane and I are still in Gijon. We spent the day riding our bikes in the mountains and exploring the city some more followed by a dinner on the beach-front.
During the ride, we stopped by the banked track and road circuit. Both venues were deserted, with skaters, signs & posters, fans, vendors, stands, barriers, and officials all absent.
I collected some dirt from both venues for my collection. I have a jar back home that contains dirt from many different tracks from around the world.
We’re taking the bus to Madrid tomorrow morning and coming back to Canada on Tuesday evening. If there are few updates on SSW between now and the time I’m settled in at home, you now know why.
Now if you watched some of the racing at the World Roller Speed Skating Championships here in Gijon, Spain, during the past couple of weeks, some of the following quotes may sounds familiar;
‘Ready at the center tribute‘
‘Skaters, get down the podium‘
‘Attention; Bart Swings to the order of the judges‘
‘…gives the medal, Mister Roberto Marotta‘
‘Attention; we warn the skaters that the track is still wet for the next room‘
‘Those award of skaters must sit in the first 6 lines of the theatre‘
‘It is a very wish for me‘
‘We demand it is not allowed to smoke‘
‘…in the zone West‘
‘So long, the skater is in first position‘
‘Best time so long‘
‘There is a skater on the floor‘
‘Please remove dorsal numbers‘
‘Make sure numbers are pinned corally‘
‘Please go out the road‘
‘Make sure numbers are in helmets‘
‘Skaters must be ready, perfectly dressed, with the skaters‘
‘The relay is finished after the finishing line‘
‘She cut with her hand the beam of the chrono‘
‘3 points for Popular China‘
‘Skaters, we have the watch property of a lady skater‘
Sunday evening in Gijon- catching the last rays of sun on the beach on Sunday evening
Surf’s up- I was taking on those waves on Saturday
Skaters who raced in the marathon should be familiar with this view
The track post worlds- no more stands
The road course post worlds- the only remaining hint that worlds was here is the blue banner on the left
Morgane and I during today’s ride- we rode for a few hours to earn this picture
The prize for our ride; beautiful views
The awards ceremony was held in the building with the tall tower on the left- this year’s party was one of the best organized worlds parties, with ceremony at 9pm, buses taking skaters to a cideria where we were wined and dined for 2 hours, and at midnight, off to the nightclub on the boardwalk!
Andrew Love’s Zen And The Art Of Speed Skating has a few recent posts that are definitely worthy of the time you will spend reading them;
Brain: Go faster! Everyone here is waaay faster than you!
Body: let go of that ego, and I will. Caring so much is good sometimes, but not good right now. Drop it & focus on technique. It’s friggin September, not December!
‘Below the sign, Liam’s teammates Matt Plummer & Mike Stein pass by in a high speed blur‘-photo and caption from Zen And The Art Of Speed Skating
You can find all the results from the Montreal 24 Hours.
Road Rash Chronicles has a couple of reports- see OMG - How could I have forgotten!!!! A funny but serious 24h story and My first 24 hour event.
Sleeping: Ya, what sleep. Who was I kidding. During my 5 hours of scheduled rest and even with ear plugs all I could hear all night was “Jeeaaannnn Coouuuttuuu” and “Desssjaaarrddinnn”. And when it wasn’t them, it was crazy ass people screaming out their bid numbers in french.
You can find pictures here.
Photo from cor1000
Click here for the results from yesterday’s Northshore Inline Marathon (Duluth).
Overall Elite Men
1- Adam Miller
2- Julian Aparicio
3- David Sarmiento
4- Jono Gorman
5- Luis Meija
6- Luis Moreno
7- James Springer
8- Matthew Stewart
9- Francisco Ramirez
10- Rob Bell
Overall Elite Women
1- Leid Galeano
2- Helen Havam
3- Martine Charbonneau
4- Sonia Galeano
5- Sarah Barker
The Colombian men went out hard from the start, in hopes of beating the course record (57:18) and collect the $10,000 bounty. But after a few minutes, it was clear that they wouldn’t get it, and it turned into a game of “hurry up and wait.”
Toronto’s Michael Cole wrote his thoughts about the race & the skating industry; On The North Shore Inline Marathon. Talking about performance enhancing drugs and the inline industry, he says-
There are so many things that need to be done in the Inline world to bring it up to a reasonable standard, but frankly I just don’t see that happening, there is too much momentum to keep things crappy.
The marathon is finished.
Men’s Marathon: New Zeland’s Shane Dobbin won the men’s marathon in a 3-skater breakaway ahead of Julien Levrard (France) was 2nd and an Argentina skater was 3rd. There was a bunch sprint for 4th. I managed to roll with the lead group of about 50 skaters for 12 of 13 1/2 laps. I finished with a small group in 1:04:30, maybe 1-minute back from the main bunch.
Women’s Marathon: Colombia’s Liana Holguin won the women’s race in front of Germany’s Sabine Berg in a bunch sprint.
Canadian News: Travis Shaw and Alex D’mello fell in the marathon. They’re both fine. Chelsea Parry and Leah Kaluta started the women’s marathon but were lapped out.
Thank you: Diedrick Hol who sold many MPC storm surge wheels as soon as it started raining right before the men’s marathon. I bought some- thanks a lot! When the course dried, the wheels were incredibly slow.
Skin Suits: There was another yearly skin-suit trading romp. I got a Spain, Mexico, and Italy suit.
Party: It’s tonight. Banquet, followed by dinner, and then disco. Buses take athletes home at 4am.
See a few pictures below- women’s race pictures taken by Morgane Echardour-
I put a video together that includes some footage of racing on the track and road as well as yesterday’s international go-kartine extravaganza. Check it out- 2008-09 Spain World Roller Speed Skating Championships- or watch below-
The junior women’s and men’s marathons are finished. I watched the junior women’s race while scouting the course. A skater from Korea and Germany finished 1-2 in a sprint. The first two finishers had a good 20-meter lead over the 3rd place finisher and the rest of the pack. I saw three Colombia skaters accidentally trip each other up and fall. I also shot a few pictures for you- see below.
I left early on in the junior men’s race. When I left, Belgian and Swiss skaters were controlling the front. I don’t know who won and how.
The marathon road circuit, which runs along the beach, is swinging from dry to wet back to dry and wet again. Everyone’s trying to figure out, or rather predict, if the road will be wet or dry. This will have a significant impact on wheel selection.
The senior women will race the marathon in 3 hours and we (senior men) race after the senior women. The marathon course is a 3-minute skate from the hotel.
Many members of different national teams, including South Africa, USA, Chile, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, and more made their way to the go-karting track earlier today. I’ll put a video together a little bit later. Daniel, Jade, Javier, and I posted the fastest laps.
The hilight of the day was a 10+ car pile up. Jade (Canada) and Andy (GB) took full advantage of the pile-up, scooting to the outside to take the lead. Vincent Henry (GB), despite being quick, was having trouble in the turns, sliding out and hitting the wall on a regular basis. Mr. B (USA) was found driving in the opposite direction going up to the 2nd level of the track. Gavin (GB) showed great enthusiasm, quickly mastering the go-kart. Tanya (GB), Morgane (Canada), Alexandra (USA), Melanie (USA), and Chelsea (Canada) were amongst the top female go-karters.
Below are a few pictures of day 2 racing action at the World Roller Speed Skating Championships in Gijon, Spain-
- It rained before the senior women’s 10km points races
- Asian skaters placed 1-2-3 in the senior women’s 10km points race. Nicole Begg and a Colombian skater fell during the race
- Joey Mantia won the men’s 10km points race in 13:40
- There were very few falls today
- The winner of the junior women’s 20km elimination race set the world record
- Belgium’s Bart Swings won the junior men’s 20km elimination race and less than 30 minutes later, finished 2nd in the 500-meter sprint
- Canadian news: Alex D’mello fell in his 10km points heat. He’s ok. Sarah Hopkins and Jade Pauley both fell yesterday. Jade is ok, and skated one of his best races in the 20km elimination race. Sarah suffered some chipped teeth, cuts in her lips and chin, and other road rash. She won’t be racing again in these world championships. She’s in good spirits
- I qualified for the 10km points race final- both heats finished in about 14:45. I managed to stay in the lead pack for 8 of 23 laps in the 10km points final
- Tomorrow: Relays and senior 500-meter sprints- Thursday: rest day, Friday: Marathon & banquet/ party
Today was the first day of road racing at the World Roller Speed Skating Championships. Each of the four distance races (junior men & women’s 10km points and senior men & women elimination) were marked by multiple falls and crashes.
Here are a few notes-
- One of the high points of the day involved many of the competitors gathering for a group shot for the Olympics
- Italy’s Gregory Duggento won the 200-meter time trials. During the evening’s final, he finished his sprint and went to the middle of the course. As soon as he was declared world champion, he was mobbed by his Italian team-mates
- There was a problem with the timing system in the junior women’s 200-meter race- Mariah Richardson (USA) and So Yeong Shin (Korea) had to re-skate their time trials. Richardson finished 3rd overall- Italy’s Giulia Bongiorno clocked the fastest time of the day
- Two junior men- Jin Su Choi (Korea) and Haotai Wu (China) tied in 12th position for the final spot for the 200-meter final. They had to have a skate-off, Jin Su Choi and advanced to the final
- Joey Mantia won the senior men’s 20km elimination race leading out the final lap
- Colombia’s junior woman Carolina Magana fell down the final stretch of the 200-meter final, dashing her medal hopes
- Colombia’s Jennifer Caicedo won the gold medal in the senior women’s 200-meter race
- Germany’s Mareike Thum fell during the junior women’s 10km points race- her team mate worked with her and pulled her along to avoid getting lapped and to hold on to the bronze medal- Korea’s Seul Li won the race
- Bart Swings (Belgium) and Ricardo Bugari (Italy) kept control of the front of the race in the junior men’s race, taking the majority of the points. Swings won the gold with an 8 point margine- 20 to 8 over Bugari
- Carolona Upegui set the women’s 20km elimination world record, earning Colombia’s second gold medal of the evening
You can view some pictures of today’s action below-
There has been many falls- many skaters are sporting bandages, slings, and can be seen limping around the track.
Women’s 15km Elimination Race: Filled with nasty falls, Canadians Morgane Echardour and Sarah Hopkins went flying into the boards and into other skaters in a 7 or 8 skater pile-up. They’re bruised, scraped, rashed, and sore as heck, but they’re in good spirits and will ace tomorrow. The race was stopped after the crash and re-started later, and again, there was another bad crash in the boards. I saw Swizterland’s Nadine Gloor go down hard and another skater slam into her. So Yeong Shin and An Yi Seul set the world record in the distance, with Nicole Begg finishing 2nd.
Men’s 15km Elimination Race: This race was filled with action, some that I was glad (and not glad) that I missed. I was eliminated early, and then the next lap, 7 guys piled into each other and fell into the boards. There was plenty of pushing and shoving, gesturing more pushing, skaters squeezing into tiny spots at extreme speeds. USA’s Dane Lewis led a lot of the race, but was eliminated outside of the final 10 skaters. France’s Alexis Contin was led out by teammate and last night’s gold medal winner Yann Guyader, and took care of business in the last 2 laps, passing the Korean skater on the inside in the last corner and won. The Korean skater was dq’d, giving a silver and bronze to Italy. Contin set the world record in this race.
500-Meter Sprints (senior): Colombian victory in the senior women’s race for Jercy Puello, with USA’s Sara Sayasane making a late charge that came a bit short. Brittany Bowe came 3rd.
Men’s race- Colombia’s Andres Munoz took the win, with Nicolas Pelloquin coming in 2nd, and New Zealand’s Kalon Dobbin collecting his 2nd medals of these championships.
1000-meter Races (junior): A three skater show on the last lap, with Colombia’s Sebastian Arce and Pedro Causil earning a 1-2 finish for Colombia with Bart Swings taking the bronze.
Korea had a 1-2 finish in the junior women’s race with So Yeong Shin and An Yi Seul taking top honours.
Today was my first ever successful attempt at qualifying for a final at the World Roller Speed Skating Championships. I skated my 15km elimination heat and squeaked in the top-20, just enough to qualify for this evening’s final.
The race was pretty darn hard on my legs. I tried to survive the speed that these other fast skaters can deliver! Let’s just say I suffered through my heat, and I get to do it all over again tonight.
500-meter Rounds: The French duo of Julien Despaux and Nicolas Pelloquin qualified for tonight’s senior men’s 500-meter final. I’m pretty sure USA’s Joey Mantia is sick- people saw him vomiting and also lying on the ground, out of it.
USA’s Harry Vogel crashed at the line, trying to outstretch and hark China-Taipei’s Wei Lin Lo. Vogel came short, fell over, spun around, and popped back up.
1000-meter Rounds: Junior girls were a lot of fun to watch. One of the heats saw the leading Colombian and American skaters fall, and a Chinese skater take the win- but the heat was re-skated after officials made a mistake and the girls raced 6-laps instead of 5.
Other News: The hotel staff who work in Australia’s hotel found some broken glass on the floor. According to my source, the hotel staff was rather confused when they saw the glass on the floor but no broken windows or picture frames. A source also informed me that there is broken picture frame 2 or 3 floors up from where the broken glass was found.
Fight! Fight! Fight!: Worlds is intense; there was a fight between two skaters after a race today- this is what I heard happenned;
1- Skater A pulled skater B’s costume during a race
2- Skater B was mad after the race
3- Skater A & B exchanged heated words
4- Coaches came in and separated skater A and B
5- Skater A kicked or swiped at skater A, knocking his glasses off
6- Skater B got a water bottle and soaked skater A’s skates, wheels, and bearings
Again, make sure you use the following links for all the news beyond the little that I am sharing; scan them carefully because I’ll be adding more as more come to light-
Il Peloton’s Ursula Hendel wrote the following from day 1 at the World Roller Speed Skating Championships-
The Junior Women’s 15000m elimination was a spectacle. Early on in the race there was a spectacular crash and more than a half a dozen skaters went down. Those that followed had to navigate around the obstacles of fallen skaters and at least one didn’t make it. It was part bowling, part gymnastics (I think I saw a cartwheel) and part skating. About half the fallen were able to get up and form a small pack. South Korea’s Jung Eun An was incredibly strong and was able to pull the pack of 6 or so up to main pack and to integrate back into the race. Spent, she finished 5th but her herculean effort made her the most impressive skater in the group. Late in the race a Spanish skater also fell and her teammate jumped to the front of the peloton in a vain attempt to slow it down and allow her to catch up. A four-way race to the finish line saw Germany’s Mareike Thum eek it out over USA’s Briana Krame and Italy’s Fracesca Lollobrigiada barely beat out Colombia’s Rommy Munoz for the bronze medal.
The Junior Men’s race was equally interesting, with a strong pack consistently pulling 18-second laps. Once again, South Korea looked impressive as Woon Sang Cho and #41 (Peter – I didn’t get his name but wayne has it in his book) took control up at the front. It was clear that Woon Sang was pulling for his teammate, who, sitting fresh in second position, was waiting for his moment to make a big break. Unfortunately for him, Italy’s Ricardo Buggari also made a break and he was disqualified from the competition for blocking. Belgium’s Bart Swings beat out Ricardo and Colombia’s Daniel Zapata for in a sprint finish.
The Seniors did their 10,000 points and elimination final today. Nicole Begg led early in the Women’s race, challenged by the 2 South Koreans and the 2 Colombian women. The women showed great control and this was the only race of the 4 with no crashes. The Koreans attacked hard in the bell laps but Nicole was able to answer. Although she crossed the finish line 5th in the sprint, she had accumulated enough points to claim the silver medal, with South Korea taking gold and bronze.
In the Senior men, there were several individual crashes early on but the main pack managed to stay intact until South Korean skater Nam Yoo Jong took off with 19 laps to go, leaving only a handful of skaters able to answer. A bad crash that left a skater on the track for several laps allowed Spanish skater Patxi Peula to sneak away and gain a ¼ lap advantage for several laps before running completely out of gas and being overtaken by the remaining skaters. The objective had been reached however, and Patxi won enough points to steal the silver medal to the delight of the crowd. France’s Yann Guyader took gold and Colombia’s Nelson Garzon had to settle for silver.
The 300mm finals also saw its share of heartbreak, after young Australian Daniel Greg, who was geared up to finish under 25 seconds, lost control and fell hard. The American Senior women were on fire, with Sara Sayasane breaking the world record only to have it, and the gold medal, stolen from her by her own teammate, Brittany Bowe, finishing in 26.611 seconds. The remarkable times generated a lot of discussion by skaters in the crowd about the womens’ use of 110mm wheels. There were some upsets with the senior men, including “disappointing” times of over 25 seconds by both superstars Joey Mantia (USA) and Gregory Duggento (Italy), but Kalin Dobbin’s win for New Zealand was accepted richly by the crowd after he injured his groin in the final last year. But the highlight of the night, and the event so far, was the Colombian Junior skater, Pedro Causil, who not only won the event, and broke the Junior world record, but broke the overall world record for the 300mm, with a blistering time of 24.531 seconds.
Distance Races: Germany’s Mareike Thum, Belgium’s Bart Swings, Korea’s Hye Sook Woo, and France’s Yann Guyader won gold medals in races. The long races were marked by multiple falls and carnage, with some selections having both their skaters taken out by falls in the same race. The first aid staff was very busy treating skaters in the middle of the track.
300-meter Sprints: Colombia’s junior skater Pedro Causil stole the show in the evening program and set the 300-meter world record with a 24.53! Australia’s Daniel Craig opened with a 9.5 second for the first 100-meter, a second 100 at 7.9, but then fell in the middle of the final corner.
In the senior women’s final, USA’s sprinting duo of Sara Sayasane and Brittany Bowe respectively set and reset the world record for a red, white, and blue 1-2 finish. After the race during the men’s warm-up, Bruce Springstein’s ‘Born In The USA’ was blaring in the stadium.
Senior men; the crowd went completely silent when USA’s Joey Mantia, Italy’s Gregory Duggento, New Zealands Kalon Dobbin, took to the start line. Korea’s Kyung Tae Kang had to tighten his skate right before the start while the officials watch him- ohhh the suspense!! In the end, Kalon Dobbin skated away with the gold medal and Kang with the silver.
Here are a few pictures of the day-
The 300-meter heats took place earlier today. I heard that USA’s Brittany Bowe set a world record in the senior women’s race. In the senior men’s 300, to finish top-20, skaters had to skate under 26-seconds.
My Fall In The First Corner Of My First Race: We skated the senior men’s 10km points heats. Top-20 of each heat qualified to the final. I crashed out in the first corner when a cone was kicked onto the track and got caught in my skate. It felt like a spectacular crash with 100’s of skaters falling and flying over the boards, but in fact only one other skater fell. The best part was getting a knee to the face as I was spun around kind of upside down. It’s a bummer to watch the finals from the stands.
Canadians: Jade Pauley made it out of his heat in the junior men’s long race. He was on the bubble, but just managed to squeak in with 20th.
I’m going back to the track now to watch the finals- I had just enough time when the afternoon program wrapped up to come back to the hotel, drop off my suitcase that Yamo and Ewen (French friends) brought from Nantes, send a couple of e-mails, and eat.
The senior 10km points, junior 15km points/ elimination, and 300-meter finals are all taking place tonight.
Again, make sure you use the following links for all the news beyond the little that I am sharing; scan them carefully because I’ll be adding more as more come to light-