International downhill skateboard racing for first time on Pikes Peak

Posted: September 9, 2013 by JonoShmono "SykOse. Live. Extreme." in Boarding, Skate boarding
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Dre Nubine, left, stays focused on the road ahead of him as he races down the 1.4-mile course on Pikes Peak outside of Colorado Springs on September 8, 2013, during the International Pikes Peak Downhill Longboarding Competition. The course started at 11,446 feet and ended at 10,767 feet giving the …

The fastest skateboarders in the world rallied atop Pikes Peak over the weekend, adding a new chapter of racing history to the storied peak’s twisting highway.

Bombing down a 1.4-mile stretch of the freshly paved Pikes Peak Highway, more than 120 international competitors reached speeds of more than 50 mph while skidding and jostling through 10 hairpin turns. The race course — heralded by racers as possibly the best, with its wide asphalt enabling high-speed passing and banked, technical turns allowing sustained speed — plummeted 680 vertical feet in 1.4 miles.

Racer Zak Maytum, the 22-year-old owner of Boulder‘s Venom skateboard supply store, represented his home state with a win.

“I

Elliott Newey of Colorado, second from right, focuses on the road ahead. More photos. (Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post)

just had to win this race,” he said of the first skateboard race on the iconic highway. The race was sanctioned by the International Downhill Federation as a qualifying event for the world championship.

Maytum eked out a win in the final turn of the final heat — after two days of racing — by snaking the inside line, forcing California’s Jimmy Riha into second place. Oakland racer Byron Essert took third.

Thousands of hay bales prevented countless injuries as dozens of racers skidded out of their turns, slamming the bales at high speed. One racer was rushed off the course Sunday with a broken leg after he crashed into the bales at Turn 8, a winding S-turn the racers dubbed “the Kink.”

“I should be bummed, but how can I be?” said 2006 world champion Fredrik Lindstrom, a 39-year-old downhill veteran from Stockholm. “This is one of the best race courses ever.”

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