Verdicchio Wine Flows; Brazilian Pros

Verdicchio wine flows from these vineyard-covered hills, but today it was flow of a different kind as riders from around the world set hot times under the blazing Verdicchio sun.

Thiago Lessa at Verdicchio 2018
Is Thiago Lessa the most professional downhill skater in the world, or just the fastest? Pic: Pablo Quiles

When it comes to professionalism Thiago Lessa (BRA) has no peer, and today he left his last qualifying run until last to maximise grip as the road cooled in the late afternoon. A few minutes earlier Yanis Markarian (FRA) squeaked into first place ahead of Tristan Cardillo (SUI), but the Brazilian pro showed them how it's done, posting a track record of 2:19.30, almost half a second in front of Yanis.

Yanis Markarian at Verdicchio 2018
Yanis Markarian briefly held the No. 1 spot late in the day before Thiago Lessa snatched it from him. Pic: Pablo Quiles

In Luge, Abdil Mahdzan (MAS) was almost a full second in front of Kolby Parks (CAN), while in Juniors Nick Broms (USA) continued his red-hot form with a 3-second gap between him and second-placed Cole Trotta (USA).

When it comes to gaps, Emily Pross (USA) is the ruler, with more than six seconds between her and second-place Lyde Begue (FRA). In contrast the Masters division ids a close-packed affair, with Nico Desmarais (CAN) only fractionally ahead of Spaniard Damian Gelez.

Daniel Engel at Verdicchio 2018
Daniel Engel flies through the Verdicchio vineyards. Pic: Sven von Schlachta

The Verdicchio track starts with longs straights and gentle sweepers before segueing into a series of flowy hairpins that demand precise lines and clever race tactics. Qualifying times show the battle between rider and track, but once racing begins the end result will be a matter of rider against rider. Race smarts will be the key to the end result.

Thiago Lessa at Verdicchio 2018
Thiago Lessa breaks the Verdicchio track record on his last run after a canny wait for the dropping temperatures to increase grip. Pic: Pablo Quiles

Tomorrow morning the Italians will race each other for the Italian Championship. In the afternoon the slowest 63 riders from Open qualifying will battle in the Repechage for the final six spots in the Open Final.

Friday Running Order

1. Practice Run (Italian Riders Only)
--RIDER UPLIFT--
2. Italian Repechage Semi-Finals
3. Practice Run
--RIDER UPLIFT--
4. Italian Repechage Consi
5. Italian Repechage Final
6. Practice Run/Freeride
--RIDER UPLIFT--
7. Italian Championship Quarter Finals
8. Practice Run/Freeride
--RIDER UPLIFT--
9. Italian Championship Semi Finals
10. Practice Run/Freeride
--RIDER UPLIFT--
11. Italian Championship Consi
12. Italian Championship Final
13. Practice Run/Freeride
--RIDER UPLIFT--

--LUNCH--

14. Practice Run/Freeride
--RIDER UPLIFT--
15. Open Repechage round of 64
16. Practice Run/Freeride
--RIDER UPLIFT--
17. Dirty30s round of 32
18. Open Repechage round of 32
19. Practice Run/Freeride
--RIDER UPLIFT--
20. Dirty30s Quarter Finals
21. Open Repechage Quarter Finals
22. Practice Run/Freeride
--RIDER UPLIFT--
23. Dirty30s Semi-Finals
24. Open Repechage Semi-Finals
25. Practice Run/Freeride
--RIDER UPLIFT--
26. Dirty30s Consi
27. Dirty30s Final
28. Open Repechage Consi
29. Open Repechage Final
30. Practice Run/Freeride
--RIDER UPLIFT--
--FINISH--

Qualifying Times and Brackets

For all qualifying times and race brackets, check the "Results" tab on the Verdicchio Race 2018 event page.

Luge practice run at Verdicchio 2018
Luge practice run at Verdicchio 2018. Pic: Sven von Schlachta