There have been a number of wars in history wherein the invaders have pushed back the locals towards the mountains, and this is where the locals take the last stand for their home land. This weekend the local Peruvian skaters have been challenged by 14 other countries for a battle of speed in the mountains of Huancayo, Peru.
Top women's qualifier Lyde Begue (FR) surprisingly finished 2nd in her first heat and crashed out in the Semi finals. The 2nd seed from Brazil Melissa Brogni won both her heats and was the hot favourite coming into the finals. Like her other heats she dominated the finals, followed by Sabrina Ambrosi (AR), Laura Vargas (CO) in 3rd and Josefa Ekdahl (CL) finishing 4th.
You can't say its a no contest, this time we had 3 Masters here in Peru. But again Douglas "Dalua" Silva was not tested at all and commandingly dominated the Masters final and now is current points leader in the world rankings of the Masters category.
Top Junior qualifier Marco Izquierdo (PE) battled against current South American Juniors points leaders Anderson Maldonato (CO) and compatriot Miguel Meguina (PE). Aside from qualifying faster Anderson crashed during the practice runs and was handicapped coming into the finals. Izquierdo started the winning day for Peru by taking the top spot in the Juniors category.
It was the battle of the 2 Europeans; Will Stephenson (GB) and Konstantin Weigl (AT) against the Peruvian lugers. The surprise attendance of Stephenson (GBR) are set to disrupt things in both the South American championships and more importantly the 2018 World title. Stephenson completely man handled the entire field and is now 2nd in the World rankings. Peruvian Jeferson Rojas took second and winner of the first 2 races Roberto Rengifo (PE) gets 3rd and still pushes his lead in the South American championships. Kevin Toledo (PE) also made it to the finals. Weigl took consolation finals.
There were a few upsets in the earlier rounds, most notable was that for the 2nd race in a row here in South America a girl makes it to the Quarter Finals.
Semi Final A: Josh Evans (AUS), Lucas Poulain (FR), Alvaro Garcia (PE) and Felix Feddersen (GER)
Poulain took the kick then Garcia followed, then Feddersen and Evans started from behind. Entering the braking part of the first section Poulain was infront and prevented Garcia from making a pass. Evans made a move before this section and moved into 3rd, hunting and waiting for a gap to exploit. Both Garcia and Evans were looking for openings but it did not appear all the way to the finish line. Feddersen who battled altitude sickness all day rounded up the semi finals.
Result: 1. Poulain 2. Garcia 3. Evans 4. Feddersen
Semi Final B: Harry Clarke (AUS), Pepe Laporte (BR), Santiago Gonzales (ARG) and Kevin Toledo (PE)
Clarke as always, led after the kick. Entering the very first turn Clarke was in front and a touch from Laporte changed both direction and speed of Clarke, clearing an inside path for Laporte. The touch also resulted into Clarke being hit from behind by Gonzales, both of them crashed. Laporte and Toledo had a free pass to the Finals.
Result: 1. Laporte, 2. Toledo, 3. Clarke, 4. Gonzales
Finals: Alvaro Garcia (PE), Pepe Laporte (BR), Lucas Poulain (FR) and Kevin Toledo (PE)
This would be Laporte's 2nd straight finals in 2 weeks but again for this finals he was not the favourite. Qualifying higher entering the finals was Garcia who also has raced this hill for 4 times and who had a sour taste left on his mouth. The last time there was a local race on this hill, Garcia was beaten in a closed photo finish and just took 2nd.
They kicked off with Laporte leading followed by Garcia, Toledo and the Poulain. Laporte was leading up until before the first braking section of the track. Garcia was hunting behind and loading up his two handed regulate which sent him into the apex and into the lead while Laporte was still hooking up from his pendy. Toledo was almost going to take 2nd but Laporte immediately protected the line. In the mid section Laporte even tried to make ground by kicking and pushing. Before entering the last big left of the track, Poulain made a pass on Toledo. It stayed the same up to the finish line resulting into Peru's Alvaro Garcia being the nation's first in getting an IDF world qualifying series title.
Alvaro Garcia - Becomes first every Peruvian on top of the podium of an IDF race.
Gaetan Ricord - Becomes the first ever French to qualify first at an IDF race.
Lucas Poulain - Becomes the first ever French to be on the Open podium of an IDF race.
Photos: Brian Dennis