Scoot Wins Almabtrieb!
"Scoot" Smith scored a very popular Almabtrieb victory. Photo Marcus Rietema
Jungholz, Austria – Scott “Scoot” Smith earned his first victory of the 2008 season and strengthened his grip on the IGSAWorld Cup Series Championship point standings with a dramatic come from behind pass of fellow Canadian Kevin Reimer on the final straightaway. Alexandre Ulrich from France finished third and Stefan Ruefli from Germany finished in fourth.
Martin Siegrist and Stephan Ruefli completely focused and unaware of the carnage behind. Photo Yorck Dertinger
It was an ultra competitive race that brought downhill skateboard racing to an entirely new level. There were many upsets along the way but probably none bigger than when Brazilian Douglas “Dalua” Silva crashed solo in the “S-Bend” while out to a commanding lead. He was so far ahead that eventual race winner “Scoot” Smith remarked that, “He was completely out of our sight. Dalua had left all of us in the dust!” As the race wore on there were more and more upsets. Number three qualifier Bassi Haller (GER) was also eliminated in the second round. He also crashed while out ahead of his three other rivals.
In semi-final number one it was Smith, Ulrich, American Patrick Rizzo and Canadian Mischo Erban. It was a close heat with Rizzo going down and Smith and Rizzo going to the final. In semi-final number two there was a bit of controversy. It was Martin Siegrist, Stephan Rueffli, Kevin Reimer and Erik Lundberg. A couple of the skaters false started and all of them rode the entire run with the exception of Martin Siegrist. They were shuttled back up the hill for a rerun. All four riders came down in a pack right to the finish. When the dust settled it was Reimer and Ruefli advancing and Siegrist and Lundberg going to the Consolation Final.
In the Consolation Final to determine fifth to eight place it was Rizzo, Erban, Lundberg and Siegrist. Lundberg chose not to start the heat so it was a three-man battle. Erban claimed the victory and fifth place followed by Siegrist in second and Rizzo in third. Lundberg was credited with eight place in the final standings.
The final was an epic showdown between Canadians Reimer and Smith, Ulrich and Ruefli. Scoot took the early lead down the fast top section follwed closely by Reimer, Ulrich and Ruefli. As the braked coming into the “S-Bend” Scoot and Reimer were sided by side with Ulrich and Ruefli side by sided just behind them. Reimer rode a slightly quicker line through the “S-Bend” and exited with about a ten board length lead. It looked like the race was over and “K-Rimes” was going to make it two World Cup victories in a row but Scoot nailed the Carousel and got into “K-Rimes” draft coming off the final corner leading onto the finish straightaway. Scoot timed the draft perfectly eating up Reimer’s lead and surging past him as they came to the finish line. There was nothing “K-Rimes” could do but watch his victory evaporate.
Smith’s win was a very popular one for the green haired skater from Pendor Harbor, British Columbia. It also has given him a commanding lead in the IGSA World Cup Series points standings going into next weeks race in Thalgau, Austria. Scoot borrowed one of the new Risch Aero Helmets for the race. After Scoots victory, Reimer picked one up as well! The downhill skateboarding race at Almabtrieb was the closest fought race in history. A whole new level of racing occurred that has changed the sport forever.