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First Day Practice Gets UnderwayCowzer Panorama
Riders make their way through Seismic Cowzer Corner.  Photo Josh Weisfeld 

Goldendale, WA, USA – Practice got underway yesterday for round #5 of the 2009 IGSA World Cup Series.  The weather conditions were hot and dry as a huge international field has gathered that includes more than 220 riders from nine different countries.

Erban is hoping to extend his points lead this weekend.  Photo Josh Weisfeld

Downhill Skateboarding leads the number of entries with more than 170 competitors.  Points leader Mischo Erban is looking to extend his points lead over two-time defending Maryhill Champion Scoot Smith, third ranked Patrick Switzer and fourth ranked Jackson Shapiera.  All four of these skaters have already competed in four World Cup races this year so this weekend they will be trying to replace their poorest finishes of the season as they begin to drop races from their points tally.

Patrick Switzer & Scoot Smith share a practice run.  Photo Marcus Rietema

Both Louis Pilloni and James Kelly are hoping to make a big move up in the points since both of them have only competed in three World Cups so far.  Peyragudes winner Pilloni is currently sitting in 9th position and will make a huge move in the points if he can come up with a great finish.  Kelly is currently sitting in 14th and also is hoping to make a big move forward.  Last year Kelly finished second at Maryhill and is looking really strong once again in 2009.   

Boris Schinke made the trip to Maryhill from Germany.  Photo Marcus Rietema

Other top contenders for the race who aren’t in contention for the points championship include 2008 number three ranked Kevin Reimer, North American Champion runner up Nathan Lang, Brazilian #1 Douglas Silva, 2008 Maryhill fourth place finisher Mike McGoldrick, and 2008 North American Champion Zak Maytum.

Quinn "Pocketknife" Dubois will face a much larger Junior I field this year.  Photo Josh Weisfeld

The junior classes have swelled this year with the Junior I division (8-13 year olds) with 11 entries and the Junior II division (14-17) with a whopping 29 entries!  The women’s class also will feature a full field and a resumption of the yearlong battle between reigning World Champion Brianne Davies and her nemesis Katie Nielson.   

Lang Cowzer
2-time Maryhill Champ Matthias Lang is coming back from a leg fracture.  Photo Marcus Rietema 

The Street Luge race is shaping up to be quite a show with defending Maryhill Champion Matthias Lang coming back after suffering a leg fracture at the second round in Argonay, France.  He will be facing some stiff competition from Veteran racers Mike McIntyre, John Rogers, Chris McBride and Bob Ozman. 


Andy Lally getting aquainted with the Maryhill course.  Photo Bob Ozman

Making a special appearance this weekend is motor racing star Andy Lally.  Andy raced luge for years winning numerous races before he began focusing exclusively on auto racing.   He has won numerous major sports car races and two weeks ago made his NASCAR Sprint Cup debut at Watkins Glen.  He has a rare off week from his racing commitments so he is here to enjoy a great week of gravity racing.  

Practice resumes today as the riders prepare for Friday’s first qualifying run.  We’ll have daily reports so you can keep up on all the action.

There was already plenty of action on Wednesday.  Photo Josh Weisfeld

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