Sanki WQS 2018 finals and awards.

Sanki WQS 2018 finals and awards.

Morning started early here in Rosa Khutor Olympic Center for the finals of Sanki 2018. The forecast did not promised good weather for today but fortunately all the categories had the chance to race on a dry track.

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Sanki 2018 and its Olympic style

Sanki 2018 and its Olympic style

A stunning blue sky greeted us here in Rosa Khutor, Sochi for the first Sanki 2018 World Qualifier. The race takes place at the Olympic venue, which hosted the 2014 Winter Games in Russia.

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First time in Russia

First time in Russia

The Winter Olympics and the World Cup weren't enough. Now it's the IDF Euro Tour rolling into Russia for the first time ever, after a World Qualifier in Romania, followed by World Cups in the Czech Republic and Italy.

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Thiago and Emily Cement Their Dominance at Verdicchio

Thiago and Emily Cement Their Dominance at Verdicchio

In hindsight it was predictable; Thiago Lessa is dominating the 2018 race season, and he never looked like losing here at Verdicchio Race. He qualified first, won all his race heats, and there was always a sense that whatever the hill and the competition threw at him he would have a ready solution, and the skills to implement it.

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Verdicchio Wine Flows; Brazilian Pros

Verdicchio Wine Flows; Brazilian Pros

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.

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Kozakov’s 10th birthday; Historic, World-Class Racing with a Heavy Finish

Kozakov’s 10th birthday; Historic, World-Class Racing with a Heavy Finish

The 10th anniversary of any downhill event is a rare, special occasion; the 10th anniversary of a legendary event like Kozakov is truly momentous, deserving of great celebration. Fortunately, Kozakov is something of a specialist when it comes to celebrating, and they delivered and exceeded the lofty expectations of downhill racing excellence and epic partying. A field of 242 racers from 28 countries across the globe descended onto this beautiful track to throw down and figure out who's fastest.

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Elissa Mah: 4 Time Asia Pacific Champion

Elissa Mah: 4 Time Asia Pacific Champion

Becoming a continental champion is no easy feat. It means that you're traveling across multiple countries and competing among the best in that respected area of the globe. But to become a continental champion 5 years in a row? Elissa Mah has been quietly taking victories over the past few years and I wanted to sit down with her to learn a bit more about her life on and off the board.. oh and today is her birthday!

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Kozakov B- and C-Lists Fight For Their Lives While The A-List Parties

Kozakov B- and C-Lists Fight For Their Lives While The A-List Parties

At Kozakov Quali Day, the top 59 Open skaters passed straight through to the A-Bracket, giving them reason to party last night and then luxuriate today while the 60th-182nd times had to fight for the remaining 5 A-Bracket spots. The "C-List" - Qualifiers 119-182 - raced first, gunning for the top 5 positions (all 4 Finalists and the Consi winner) to graduate into B-Bracket. After day full of supremely close finishes, the top 5 B-Bracket qualifiers ultimately earned their ranks among the 64-person Open Finals bracket.

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The Tenth Kozakov Qualis; Hot Laps and Headwinds

The Tenth Kozakov Qualis; Hot Laps and Headwinds

On a day of blustery headwinds, Carlos Paixão qualified fastest, closely followed by fellow Brazilian Thiago Lessa. That reverses their final placing at the end of the 2017 World Cup season, and sets up a classic battle in the finals of the tenth Kozakov Challenge. Behind the two Brazilians lurks Daniel Engel, back in form after struggling in Transylvania.

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