Mischo Erban Qualifies Number One
Mischo Erban showing the form that earned him the number one qualifying spot. Photo Marcus Rietema
Peyragudes, France - Mischo Erban from Vancouver, Canada dominated today’s Downhill Skateboard qualifying session to earn the number one starting position for the IGSA World Cup downhill race being held in Peyragudes, France.
Erban led a Canadian sweep of the top three qualifiers with Nate Lang in second and Kevin Reimer in third. Jonathon Martinez of France was fourth with reigning IGSA World Cup Series Champion Erik Lunberg from Sweden in fifth position.
It was an incredibly pressure packed qualifying session with each riders single best of two runs used to qualify and seed them into the field. Due to safety concerns the organizers decided to go to four-man race heats instead of the original six-man heats. This meant the race field would only include the 64 fastest qualifiers. With a strong field of 101 riders competing for only 64 places, the adrenaline level was off the charts.
In Street Luge it was reigning IGSA World Cup Champion Sebastian Tournissac who turned in the best qualifying performance. The Frenchman who lives in Roquefort les pins on the French Riviera, recorded the fastest time on both runs aboard his SC8 Luge. Yvon LaBarthe of Switzerland qualified in the number two position followed by former World Champion Leander Lacey from South Africa in third. The top five were rounded out by 2002 World Cup Series Champion Pete Eliot from Great Britain in fourth and Mikel Echegarey Diez from Spain in fifth. 34 racers were competing for the 32 starting positions.
Classic Luge qualifying was also paced by Sebastien Tournissac. Jonathan Blottier made it a French one, two on the starting grid. Yvon LaBarthe and Leander Lacey qualified third and fourth respectively. 2007 World Cup Series Champion Michael Serek from Austria rounded out the top five. Classic luge will race using the Grand Prix format with all 32 participants taking the green flag.
The worst news of the day was that two-time IGSA World Cup Series Champion Angelina Nobre from France suffered a broken collar bone as a result of a high speed crash during her second qualifying run. Nobre had been in a tough qualifying battle with Canadian Brianne Davies and was pushing to the limit. She is resting comfortably and will hopefully return to competition later in the season.
Due to a forecast of rain on Saturday, It was announced that the Downhill Skateboard race will be held on Friday afternoon. The Street Luge and Classic Luge races will still take place on Saturday as originally scheduled.
2008 has become a breakthrough year for both the IGSA World Cup Series and downhill skateboarding as a whole. For the first time, we are seeing large numbers or riders traveling to the big races. The result is seeing how the best of the best from each continent are stacking up against each other. Friday”s Downhill Skateboard race is shaping up to be an epic showdown.
Jonathan Martinez (FRA) was the highest qualified European in fourth. Photo Marcus Rietema
The IGSA's top ranked skateboarders of 2007. L-R Erik Lundberg (SWE), Scoot Smith (CAN), Noah Sakamoto (USA), Martin Siegrist (SUI), Mischo Erban (CAN); Photo Marcus Rietema