Quirin Ilmer wins King’s Gate

Opens Podium: 1st Quirin Ilmer, 2nd Aaron Hampshire, 3rd Tristan Cardillo. Pic: Janko Just
Opens Podium: 1st Quirin Ilmer, 2nd Aaron Hampshire, 3rd Tristan Cardillo. Pic: Janko Just

Quirin Ilmer won the first ever King's Gate yesterday in a final featuring a spectacular collision between Zak Maytum and Aaron Hampshire at the fastest part of the track. In Women's, Emily Pross proved that even a broken toe couldn't slow her down, while Lyde Begue and Paloma Dorado were impressively quick in taking the other two podium spots in a strong women's field.

Women's Podium: 1st Emily Pross, 2nd Lyde Begue, 3rd Paloma Acha Dorado. Pic: Janko Just
Women's Podium: 1st Emily Pross, 2nd Lyde Begue, 3rd Paloma Acha Dorado. Pic: Janko Just

Quirin's path to the top spot featured a share of luck; in the quarter-finals he was first out from the push but then received an unintentional shove in the back in the first corner that took him way off line and allowed all three riders to overtake. Despite that he battled back to third place across the finish line, and a successful protest converted that to second place, and a spot in the semis.

Quirin Ilmer, full commitment. Pic: Janko Just
Quirin Ilmer, full commitment. Pic: Janko Just

The final was a classic. Coloradans Zak Maytum and Aaron Hampshire led out and were side-by-side going into the critical King's Gate section of the track; a high-speed chicane with only one line, and no room for side-by-side riding. Neither rider backed off; both started their slide at the same time, and the inevitable happened - they tangled up and were sent sprawling into the hay. Quirin miraculously threaded his way through the carnage, but Tristan Cardillo wasn't so lucky and also hit the hay. In the ensuing confusion, Aaron Hampshire recovered fastest, then Tristan, while Zak struggled to find his board.

Masters Podium: 1. Nicolas Desmarais, 2nd Damian Derek Blanquer Gelez, 3rd Luis Garcia. Pic: Janko Just
Masters Podium: 1. Nicolas Desmarais, 2nd Damian Derek Blanquer Gelez, 3rd Luis Garcia. Pic: Janko Just

The Juniors was dominated by Tristan Cardillo of Switzerland, who easily won all his heats. He seriously threatened in Opens as well, qualifying 5th fastest and taking out 3rd. Taylor Cook of New Zealand took 2nd in Juniors and had a long ride in the Opens, battling through the repechage to take the 64th spot in the finals, where he made it through to the quarter finals.

Luge Podium: 1. Mikel Echegaray Diez, 2nd, Abdil Mahdzan, 3rd Will Stephenson. Pic: Janko Just
Luge Podium: 1. Mikel Echegaray Diez, 2nd, Abdil Mahdzan, 3rd Will Stephenson. Pic: Janko Just

Mikel Echagaray Diez won every heat with ease to take the Luge prize, while Abdil Mahdzan placed second and Will Stephenson recovered from poor form during qualification to take third.

From a medical boot, to a gumboot, to the golden boot, Emily keeps winning. Pic: Janko Just
From a medical boot, to a gumboot, to the golden boot, Emily keeps winning. Pic: Janko Just
Nicolas Desmarais, fast master. Pic: Janko Just
Nicolas Desmarais, fast master. Pic: Janko Just