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Mischo Erban smokes the field to qualify #1 Pey D3-1
Mischo Erban crossing the finish line during Peyragudes Qualifying.  Photo Marcus Rietema

Peyragudes, France- Thursday morning greeted everyone at the Peyragudes 2Luxe Cup with beautiful weather and warm temperatures.  The weather forecast on Friday is calling for rain so the organizers decided to run both of the Downhill Skateboard qualifying runs today.

In Downhill Skateboard qualifying Ramon Konigshausen from Switzerland set the quickest time of the first 20 riders with a time of 3:18.860.  The slalom World Champion is focusing on downhill in 2009 and is definitely making his presence felt. No one was able to touch Ramon’s time until Frenchman Jonathan Martinez put in a 3:15.310 dropping the fastest time by over three and a half seconds.

The scenery in Peyragudes is spectacular.  Photo Marcus Rietema

Pey D3-6
James Kelly (USA) put in a strong qualifying run to finish third.  Photo Marcus Rietema

The time Martinez set looked pretty strong after Scoot Smith came down with a time of 3:16.560 to move into second.  Jackson Shapiera from Australia was the next skater to take a shot at Jonathan and he came close when he turned in a 3:15.900 pushing Scoot back to third.  A few other skaters like Will Brunson from the USA and Stefan Ruefli from Switzerland put in strong runs but none of them could unseat Martinez.

 Pey D3-2Jonathan Martinez (FRA) will likely be major factor in Saturday's race.  Photo Marcus Rietema

Finally it was Mischo Erban’s turn and he put in a time that completely blew away Martinez and the rest of the field when he turned in a 3:12.800.  Martin Siegrist turned in a disappointing 3:17.920 and Patrick Switzer turned in a respectable 3:15.220.  As the qualifying session drew to a conclusion it seemed the only two riders with a realistic shot at Mischo’s time were the American skaters James Kelly and Louis Pilloni.  Kelly came first and turned in a very fast 3:13.450 to move into second place.  Then came Pilloni carrying a lot of speed across the finish line.  The time came in just a tick short of Mischo’s at 3:12.920. 
Pey D3-11
Jackson Shapiera (AUS) was sixth after the first run but faded on the second.  Photo Marcus Rietema
At the end of the first round the order of the top ten was:
1.    Mischo Erban             CAN    3:12.800
2.    Louis Pilloni                USA    3:12.920
3.    James Kelly                USA    3:13.450
4.    Patrick Switzer            CAN    3:15.220
5.    Jonathan Martinez       FRA    3:15.310
6.    Jackson Shapiera        AUS    3:15.900
7.    Scoot Smith                 CAN    3:16.560
8.    Christoph Batt              SUI    3:16.840
9.    Martin Siegrist              SUI    3:17.920
10.  Nicolas Robert             SUI    3:18.350
Pey D3-12
Louis Pilloni (USA) was the only skater to get close to Mischo's time.  Photo Marcus Rietema

The second round qualifying got started with Olivier Bareaud taking his first qualifying run.  He’d missed the first run and the morning practice runs due to an overnight bought with the stomach flu.  Bareaud turned in a time of 3:20.040 and was happy to make a qualifying run.  Konigshausen moved up turning in a 3:16.240 to lift himself into 7th place overall. 
Pey D3-13
Ramon Konigshausen (SUI) is making the transition from slalom to downhill.  Photo Marcus Rietema
Jonathan Martinez put in another quick time and moved up to fourth with a 3:14.860.  Scoot Smith improved his time and moved up to 6th with a 3:15.670.  Stefan Ruefli moved into the top ten with a 3:18.240.  Mischo Erban put in another blistering run and dropped the fast time to a 3:12.480. Siegrist jumped up the timing charts to fourth with a 3:14.830.  It was a significantly better run for the three time World Champion.  Christoph Batt moved into seventh with 3:15.850 and dropped Jackson Shapiera to 8th in the process.
Pey D3-5
Martin Siegrist worked his way up to fourth.  Photo Bob Ozman

As the second run wound down, neither Pilloni or Kelly were able to improve thier times.  Erban will start the race from the number one position on Saturday and looks like he will be hard to beat.

Open Downhill Skateboarding Top Ten Qualifiers

1. Mischo Erban                   CAN      3:12.480
2. Louis Pilloni                      USA      3:12.920
3. James Kelly                      USA      3:13.450
4. Martin Siegrist                   SUI       3:14.830
5. Jonathan Martinez            FRA      3:14.860
6. Patrick Switzer                  CAN     3:15.220
7. Scoot Smith                      CAN     3:15.670
8. Christoph Batt                   SUI      3:15.850
9. Jackson Shapiera             AUS     3:15.900
10. Ramon Konigshausen  SUI       3:16.240
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