Mitch Thompson (AU) has reached many podiums, but the top spot has always eluded him. That changed at Pasul Vulcan. He pushed out in front of the final, widened his lead at every corner, and by the finish was well ahead of the remaining pack. Sebastian Hertler (DE) followed in second, but uncharacteristically crashed in the final corner, his first crash there of the whole event. Adam Westfall (US) seized the opportunity, sneaking past into second place, while fastest qualifier, Harry Clarke (AU) squeezed into third after Hertler controversially crossed the finish line on hands and knees in a desperate scramble.
Day 3 in Transylvania proved to be just as exciting, nail-biting and challenging as anyone could have hoped. After two days of patchy condition, the relentless rain on Day 3 created predictable conditions, and racers found their groove quickly. The shortened track took out the part with the highest speeds, and allowed haybales to be shifted to the top to beef up the safety. Despite less length, the road still offered nearly 2km of highly technical, high-speed attack terrain, with an imposing, tight hairpin just before the finish.
Racers battled for grip before the apex of each high speed corner. Many required massive predrifts and pendies in order to stay on the road. Reviewing POV racer footage, it's clear that consistency paid off, but as the brackets advanced, there was no time to "play it safe" anymore, leading to some exciting upsets.
The strong Australian performance was not a surprise given their strong qualifying times and quick progress through the early race rounds. Josh Evans (AU) and Davis Lanham (AU) had an unfortunate tangle in the semis, depriving both a chance at the podium and an all-Australian final four. Adam Westfall continued his recent good form, and is now one of the consistent front-runners.
Sabrina Ambrosi (AR) had a big day out - convincingly winning the Women's race, and finishing as the highest-placed women in Opens after racing through to the Semi-Finals of the Dirty-30s bracket.
Cole Trotta (US) won the Juniors, and for a while looked a threat in the Opens after some fast qualifying times and a first-round win over Harry Clarke. At only 15 years old, Cole looks to be a major force in the future.
Raul Perez Gallego (ES) won Masters, and Olivier Gerling (FR) won Luge after qualifying fastest and winning every heat.
The Transylvania Downhill Pasul Vulcan IDF World Cup Qualifier track and organizing team established themselves as a force to be reckoned with. Many thanks to the Devastation Longboard Crew for a fantastic job organizing this event. We look forward to returning next year, and are emboldened by this event's potential and governmental support. Thank you to the Mayor, Vice Mayor and the City of Vulcan, Romania for welcoming us with open arms and generously supporting the event. We were thrilled to join a post-event press conference with local media to discuss the impact of the event on our World Cup tour and on the local region.
NOTE: Although Sebastien Hertler crossed the finish line in second place, it was ruled that he crossed on his hands and knees, contrary to Rule 7.1. Sebastien made an attempt to recross the finish line properly, but did not return back behind the line, and thus never re-crossed.