Escalante wins again in Mexico and takes a solid lead in the IIDA World Cup Ranking

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Updated: April 22, 2018
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dh mex1

On April 15, the second step of the 2018 IIDA World Cup took place in Mexico.

Both local and international riders from Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, Chile, Brasil and Italy took part in the race.

In Mexico, the Inline downhill movement is extremely active and lively, with a great number of riders who regularly practice our discipline on the several worderful local spots. The Mexican good weather year round helps the growth of the sport and the level of new riders, which is, actually, very good. Most of them are fast, brave and well trained.

Despite the high number of riders, the movement is still at its infancy and the national skating federation seems to be not seriously interested in inline downhill. Furthermore some of the riders are still “pioneers”, and do not consider it as a proper discipline, yet. Inline downhill is more a lifestyle than a sport.  Most of the riders do not take equipment as a priority, therefore safety needs to be checked carefully by IIDA. What is normally considered as basic for European Races, such as safety on the course, medical service, professional time keeping, has not to be given for granted in Mexico. IIDA needs to keep the situation monitored, since the country has great potentials.

The selection of Mexican IIDA certified riders must be particularly careful, in order to gather a group of athletes with the required skating skills and safety gears. IIDA Board of directors member Massimo Bavieri of Italy has already started to work with Mexican riders in Chachapa. He personally made sure that all the riders who took part in the IIDA World Cup race were wearing the required crash pads. The previous day, on the same spot, a non-IIDA national race was held, and Mr. Bavieri realized what the level of Mexican inline downhill currently is.

Required equipment and a three times steeper entry fee for the World Cup Race made the first, natural distinction between motivated and non–motivated riders.

It would have been great to have 130 people at the start, as it happened last year at the Mexican unofficial national championships. IIDA, though, as a professional organization, considers safety as a top priority and keeps in mind that inline downhill needs top level skating skills.

About 20 properly equipped, world class riders showed their skills and will, as well as their open – mindness in the Mexican race. They will be selected as IIDA certified riders soon. IIDA is currently forced to prefer a few good athletes to 100 unprofessional riders who may damage the image of the sport.

IIDA considers the development of inline downhill in countries like Mexico very important. Therefore we hope that this first IIDA World Cup race, even though the organization did not match the standards for a World Class event, may work as a starting point for the discipline in the whole South America.

Thanks to the participation of riders with international experience, and especially of an IIDA Board of directors member, Mexican riders (and organizers) are aware of many more details of the discipline, now. The race in Chachapa has been an historical event for the South American Inline Downhill movement. This continent may play a prominent role in the sport in the next decade.

 

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Races:

All the previous (non-IIDA) unofficial inline downhill competitions that took place in Mexico had been mass-race only. Therefore the Chachapa IIDA time trial world cup has been the very first of its kind ever held in the country! Unfortunately, due to last-minute delays, the second run has been cancelled. Some of the International riders, which did not know the course as in depth as the locals, chose not to take risks in the first run, in order to give their best in the second one. This caused some of them not to be as fast as usual. Athletes like Anderson Dantas of Brasil (IIDA mass race World Cup winner in Teutonia last year), Hilmar Smitz (also from Brasil) and the Italian Massimo Bavieri (IIDA Board of Directors member) have not been able to push to the limit, because of the cancellation of the second run.

Chilean National Champion and 2017 World n.10 Ricardo Escalante, unconcerned of the above mentioned problems (and even of some phisycal minor issues), won the race apparently easily.

Even the top European riders should keep an eye on this former speed skating champion, who trained hard during the winter and improved immensely his downhill skills.

The absolute bravery of Mexican riders shown during training runs was not enough to hinder the power of the Chilean rider.

Among women, Karla Isles won the the all-mexican race with a 4 seconds gap on Kenia Orozco, silver medal at the end. Karla would have been in the top half of the men’s ranking! She has been fast and extremely brave, if she will be able to improve her skating technique, she may become a top rider in the near future.

Unfortunately even the Top Speed race had to be cancelled, due to system malfunctions. IIDA will make sure this is not going to happen again in the future.

 

Mass race is Mexican riders’ favourite competition.  In fact three of them qualified for the final, despite the presence of some of the top South American athletes. The crowd on the course went literally crazy for the three local boys. “Mexico! Mexico!” was shouted endlessly troughout the track in a joyful, emotional and a bit nostalgic atmosphere.

Smitz had broken his braking tool during in the qualification runs, Dantas had crashed badly in the TT and did not participate in the mass race and Massimo Bavieri supervised the organization and decided to drop out.

Despite the Mexican passion, Ricardo Escalante of Chile kept the race under control from the beginning till the end and won without taking useless risks a few weeks from the next race in Peru.

Women’s race was not too exciting, even though the passion and enthusiasm of the 4 Mexican girls was enviable.

 

The best of Mexico? Is Mexico!

This country has natural and historical wonders, friendly people and great potentials as far as downhill is concerned. Flights from Europe might be expensive, but life here looks cheap comparing to European standards. We hope to have more riders flying from the other side of the pond, for a better race next year. Coming to Mexico to compete might be a good reason to spend a week on holiday afterwards, too!

 

Among the IIDA priorities for the near future, there is, for sure, the one of helping Mexican organizers to reach world class standards. International riders who dared to come here for the first IIDA sanctioned edition of this race paid the piper of being pioneers, but the potentials of this country are immense.

 

Emotional moments:

Two events have genuinely touched both athletes and spectators:

the kids’ race, a group of 20 children who skated down the course with no fear at all during the Mexican non-IIDA race. Organizers did not lower the start, therefore these young kids raced on the same course of the adults. IIDA Board of directors member did not agree, but he could not interfere in a local unofficial race. Everything went well and these mini-riders have really surprised the public with their bravery and skating skills (including soul-slide braking at high speed!).

 

But more than anything else, though, who conquered the admiration of EVERYONE was

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Josè Alfredo Miramontes. This excellent speed skater who raced with a 4×100 speedboot, ranked 4th in the national race and 13th in the IIDA World Cup Time trial.

This guy has balls bigger than his wheels. A champion on skates and in life.

He competed with top level riders, with no concerns about the final ranking, giving all he could give.

He did not care if he was racing against athletes with both arms, and he has no arms at all!

A paralimpic champion who decided to compete against “normal” athletes.

We all take our hats off for this great man, who has just become part of the Rollershow Pro Downhill Team and will participate in the IIDA World Cup step in Peschiera del Garda (Italy) next July.

All the riders in the world should have the chance to meet this amazing person.

 

 

 

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