Paixão wins Festival de la Bajada

Race day dawned with thick cloud cover. Before practice, a steady light rain began falling, delivering just enough water to evenly coat the track. The race was postponed for 30 minutes to allow conditions to improve, but the rain stuck around and riders were sent for a wet practice run.

By the time they were ready for the second practice run the clouds had retreated and an increase in temperature worked swiftly to make a 95% dry course by the time the first race heat was sent down.

Carlos Paixão leads Mauritz Armfelt
Carlos Paixão leads Mauritz Armfelt
From the early rounds, the Brazilian favorites Thiago Lessa and Carlos Paixão were convincingly dominant; advancing easily to the quarter finals. Similar consistency was seen from the Swedish contingent of Mauritz Armfelt, Erik Lundberg and Anders Inde.

Championship leader Dillon Stephens employed a conservative race strategy on the extremely difficult course that left him in 3rd place in the quarter final allowing the Brazilians the chance to close that gap in points.

1. Carlos Paixão, 2nd. Mauritz Armfelt, 3. Anders Inde

In the Semi Finals, 5th place qualifier Will Royce hit hay early in the run allowing Mauritz and Paixão to cruise to the final. On the other side of the bracket, Luca Dragone lead the pack into the most difficult left corner. Lundberg and Lessa slid side by side behind him. However, both Lundberg and Dragone failed to shed enough speed for the difficult late-apex hairpin and quickly found themselves relegated to the Consi. Rising Swedish start Anders Inde snuck through from 4th position to earn the last spot in the Final.

The Final had little drama as Carlos continued with the blistering pace he had set all weekend. Crowd favorite Mauritz followed closely, but was unable to get sufficient draft to make a pass. Thiago entered the last few corners a close 3rd, but lost too much speed in the final turn allowing Anders to make a pass before the finish line and earn his first ever World Cup podium.

In Womens, Sirley Tabares took the win over Cristina Verdu and Angie Duque, while in Juniors Rodrigo Zuzunaga continued his form, beating Jean Carlo Cespedes Cruz and Rene Garcia.

In Street Luge Mikel Echegaray Diez withdrew due to injury, allowing Abdil Mahdzan to take first and giving him an opportunity to tie for first place in the overall World Cup points race. Mikel's injury also prevented him from racing Classic Luge, where Jan Tarradas Miquel was victorius.

Click here for the full results.

This post is related to Festival de la Bajada 2015.

Colin Beck

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