Laguna Downhill WQS – Day 1

Rider uphill shuttle
Rider uphill shuttle

The Laguna Downhill presented by Treee Skateboarding commenced today outside of Jalisco, Mexico. While the start of the day was slow, the pace quickly picked up with run after run allowing riders to get familiar with the track (click for track preview article).

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Jimmy Riha shadows local Oscar Gutierrez down a run.

The local riders were quick to take advantage of a closed course and dialed in race lines. Mexican riders, Oscar Gutierrez, Gerardo Moreno and Miquel Azanza were quick from the beginning. Fellow Mexican, Eduardo Cordeo, was mixing it up in the local pack along with young rider, Martin Gallegos, showing age or weight isn’t necessary to be fast down the hill.

Young local, Martin Gallegos, was rallying every run
Young local, Martin Gallegos, was rallying every run
Eduardo Cordeo keeps it clean through the first righ
Eduardo Cordeo keeps it clean through the first right

Current IDF World Champion, Carlos Paixao adapted to the track with ease. From the first run he was pushing to find the limit of traction. Jimmy Riha and Dillon Stephens took a more passive approach, following lines of the locals before pushing. Troy Grenier made an appearance but a lack of a leather suit halted him from fully assessing the course. He will be suited and ready for racing tomorrow.

Carlos Paixao shows new tracks don't phase him as he nailed lines his first run down
Carlos Paixao shows new tracks don't phase him as he nailed lines his first run down
Troy Grenier will be ready for racing tomorrow
Troy Grenier will be ready for racing tomorrow

There are many new riders looking fast down the track. Brazilin, Andrez Krob Pereira, quickly showed he has potential win. He was mixing it up in runs with fellow Brazilian, Carlos Paixao. Javier Arce of Costa Rica was dialed and in control. He has a demeanor that just wants to have a fun run but he is fast enough to contest the victory.

Andrez Krob Pereira leads Carlos
Andrez Krob Pereira leads Carlos

Three Competitor from the women’s class showed they all had potential to win. Their pace was similar throughout the day and will make race strategy have a major influence over the results.

Sylvia Mena Cortes of Costa Rica powers through the wavy pavement of the last turn
Sylvia Mena Cortes of Costa Rica powers through the wavy pavement of the last turn

Chris McBride held it down in luge. With their faster straight-line speed it makes each corner more interesting and requires more precise speed control.

Downhill veteran Chris McBride
Downhill veteran Chris McBride

Riders had the ability to take 8 full runs before practice was ended. Many riders are still dialing in their race strategy and trying to find the best line through the last corner. While the course is fast (50mph), the constant change of direction makes drafting hard unless you are close.

Don't count out any rider, Every skater was charging hard each run
Don't count out any rider, every skater was charging hard each run
Dillon Stephens feels out the pavement of the last turn. It's worse then it looks, especially at 50mph.
Dillon Stephens feels out the pavement of the last turn. It's worse then it looks, especially at 50mph.
Dillon Stephens slaying a corner
Dillon Stephens slaying a corner

Saturday will be packed with action, as IDF classes will run race to qualifying heats in the morning, followed by the final bracket.