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Reimer Scoot
Canadians Kevin Reimer, Nate Lang and "Scoot" Smith push the limits during practice. Photo Marcus Rietema

Peyragudes, France – The Peyragudes Deluxe Cup got underway today under beautiful weather conditions in the French ski resort town. Downhill competitors from around the globe have converged in the Pyranees Mountains for the second IGSA World Cup event of the 2008 season.

RegistrationRegistration was busy throughout the day. Photo Marcus Rietema

Registration began on Tuesday as riders streamed in throughout the day. Top downhill skateboarding competitors including 2007 IGSA World Cup Series Champion Erik Lundberg (SWE), 2007 IGSA World Champion Martin Siegrist (SUI), Top Canadians Mischo Erban, “Scoot” Smith, Niko Desmarais, Kevin Reimer, and Nate Lang. Top Americans include Noah Sakamoto, Etrhan Lau, J.M. Duran and Patrik Rizzo. The top Australian racers include Steve Daddow, Corey Leeson, and Jackson Shapiero. Douglas Silva and Humberto Melo lead the talented group of Brazilian racers and Mike Zietsman leads the South Africans. Among the Europeans, Frenchman Olivier Bareaud and Great Britain’s Pete Connolly head a deeply talented pool of racers.
Jackson Shapiera (AUS) showing his national pride. Photo Marcus Rietema
It’s all shaping up to be the strongest downhill skateboarding field ever assembled. Practice got underway today with a three-hour session in the morning and another five-hour session in the afternoon. Riders worked hard to come to grips with the multiple corners and changing pavement conditions. Technical inspection began in the afternoon and will continue on Thursday morning. In the evening there was a riders meeting where a new rule regarding pushing in downhill skateboarding was implemented.

Martin CarWorld Champion Martin Siegrist's (SUI) ride courtesy of new sponsor Daihatsu. Photo Marcus Rietema

The new rule is as follows: A pushing zone from the start line to the first corner has been designated. Riders may push an unlimited amount while in this zone. Once past the zone riders are not allowed to push their boards. The only exception is when both feet have left the top of the board and touched the road simultaneously. The rule will be used experimentally this weekend and if successful will be used at all events in the future. 

Kibbling CrashTwo Downhill skateboarders tangle during an afternoon practice run. Photo Marcus Rietema

Stormy weather has been forecast for Friday so the organizers have decided to run all qualification runs on Thursday. Each rider will receive two practice runs at the beginning of the session followed by two timed qualifying runs. Street Luge, Skull Board and Classic Luge will run from 9:00am to 12:00pm with Downhill Skateboarding scheduled from 1:30 pm to 7:00pm. Friday has now been designated an all day free ride session.

Gauthier2007 IGSA World Champ Gauthier DeKyndt (FRA) during heavy braking. Photo Marcus Rietema

Organizer Cyril Harney (Komakino) has done an outstanding job organizing the first ever IGSA World Cup event in France. Breakfast, lunch and dinner at one of three local restaurants is included with each racers entry fee for the four-day event. Another popular touch has been number bibs customized with each riders name and flag. The first day finished off with a big party in the riders tent that went on until the early hours of Thursday morning. Stay tuned for our day two report.

2007 IGSA World Cup Series Champion Erik Lundberg (SWE) looked fast all day. Photo Marcus Rietema

The Pyranees Mountains provide a beautiful backdrop for the athlete swimming pool. Photo Marcus Rietema