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Pilloni qualifies #1 in Argonay GYC 2-1
Louis Pilloni crosses the finish line to earn the #1 Qualifying position.  Photo Marcus Rietema

Argonay, France-
Louis Pilloni (USA) picked up where he left off after winning Peyragudes to earn the number one qualifying position for tomorrows Graveyard Call IGSA World Cup race.  Pilloni from Los Angeles, California beat Loaded teammate James Kelly who finished second based on their first qualifying runs.

Pilloni and Kelly have definitely raised the bar this year with their stand up slides, pre drifts and no hands down cornering skills. Three-time World Champion Martin Siegrist (SUI) moved into third when he turned in the fastest time of the second run. 

GYC 2-2 James Kelly throws a stand up slide before the final corner.  Photo Marcus Rietema

Christoph Batt (SUI) turned a lot of heads when he qualified fourth.  Mischo Erban (CAN) rounded out the top five.  Many of the downhill skateboarders were fighting to get enough grip on the incredibly technical 1.5 km (1 mi) course.

Both Patrick Switzer (CAN) and reigning World Champion Scoot Smith (CAN) commented that they were sliding and trying to find different combinations that would allow them to hook up.  Scoot also said he was trying some different cornering techniques in an effort to find more speed.  He feels confident that he’s well positioned for tomorrow’s race.

GYC 2-3
Martin Siegrist had a great second run to qualify third.  Photo Marcus Rietema

Downhill Skateboard Top 10 Qualifiers
1.    Louis Pilloni, USA, 2:08.451
2.    James Kelly, USA 2:09.155
3.    Martin Siegrist, SUI, 2:09.492
4.    Christoph Batt, SUI, 2:11.505
5.    Mischo Erban, CAN, 2:11.702
6.    Patrick Switzer, CAN, 2:12.414
7.    Scott Smith, CAN, 2:12.843
8.    Robert Nicholas, SUI, 2:13.333
9.    Stefan Ruefli, SUI, 2:13.512
10.    Yvon Labarthe, SUI, 2:13.789

GYC 2-4
Christoph Batt did a great job to qualify fourth.  Photo Marcus Rietema

Rebekka Gemperle Tops Women’s Downhill Skateboarding
GYC 2-5
Rebekka Gemperle on her way to qualifying #1 in the Women's DH.  Photo Marcus Rietema
Rebekka Gemperle continues to improve her downhill skateboarding skills and outskated a strong Women’s field to qualify number one.  The former Inline Board rider from Switzerland began her transition into downhill skateboarding last year.  Since that time she has progressed from surviving a run down the track to beating notable female skaters like Bettina Luginbuhl and Sarah Hodel.  She is excited for tomorrows race after earning her first number one qualifying position.

Women’s Downhill Skateboarding Top 5 Qualifiers

1.    Rebekka Gemperle, SUI, 2:33.097
2.    Bettina Luginbuhl, SUI, 2:35.993
3.    Kristina Engstrand , SWE, 2:38.725
4.    Dasha Kornienko, CAN, 2:40.026
5.    Sarah Hodel, SUI, 2:46.594

Bouich paces the veterans in Street Luge qualifying
GYC 2-6
Bouich was the top qualifier in both Street Luge & Classic Luge.  Photo Bob Ozman
For the second week in a row, a newcomer has qualified number one in Street Luge.  Kevin Bouaich from Switzerland turned in a scorching time in his second run to qualify a full 1.6 seconds ahead of number two qualifier Peter Eliot (GBR).  Peyragudes winner Yvon Labarthe was third followed by reigning World Champion Matthias Lang (GER) in fourth and William Stephenson (GBR) in fifth.   It will be interesting to see if Bouaich can hold off veterans Eliot, Labarthe, Lang and Stephenson to earn his first IGSA World Cup victory. 

Street Luge Top 10 Qualifiers
1.    Kevin Bouich, SUI, 2:07.100
2.    Peter Eliot, GBR, 2:08.727
3.    Yvon Labarthe, SUI, 2:09.040
4.    Matthias Lang, GER, 2:09.078
5.    William Stephenson, GBR, 2:10.732
6.    Thibaut Meline, FRA, 2:10.971
7.    Gregory Gerber, FRA, 2:12.333
8.    Kolby Parks, CAN, 2:12.398
9.    Fabien Prual, FRA, 2:12.852
10.    Gerald Mueller, GER, 2:14.052
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