Peyragudes _____ Dies?, IDF World Cup
The IDF World Cup tour takes us to Peyragudes Never Dies in the French Pyrenees. With variable weather conditions it has kept riders on their toes expecting heavy rainfall, then having a dry course, changing and at time heavy winds and dark ominous clouds in the beautiful mountain range around us.
The fifth world cup and third of the European series in 2014 is Peyragudes Never Dies hosted by Koma Kino!
The 3heads have been capturing the event again and taking their tech to a new level with full course aerial shots and incredibly smooth follow runs with their home built gyro rig.
It had not been decided yet if the final corner of the track would be added or if it was too dangerous. Therefore I was making the most out of every run to dial the fastest & most strategic approach to make a pass if required before the finish line. Sliding when close to a rider, or air braking when comfortably in front seemed to be the best options.
After the first day practicing the rough and challenging track it was time to again capture a film run with Mikel Diez! In the video above is my attempt at the fastest line and practicing my ninja moves. 😉
Qualifying gave us six runs to make our best run down the challenging course. I say ‘challenging’ specifically because of the rough weathered pavement, puck eating cracks and of course man hole covers right where you might want to slow down. The only savings grace I saw for this course was the final corner now safe and protected to ride being added to the track. With an entrance speed of 90-100km/hr it ranks in the big league challenging ‘crash corners’ with Almabtrieb, Kozakov, Angies Curves and maybe Pikes Peak (though I have not yet attended). Of course these corners are intense and skill testing to take at high speeds. It is up to the rider to navigate the course safely, not the event organizer to choose what is good for the riders. As controversial as this high speed corner may be, I see it as stifling the competitive level of the event.
Nonetheless we have made our best effort skating lonesome on the mind numbing course to get our best time in six runs and are presented with only our best time, not the breakdown of all six…
As the title suggests, Koma has decided not to continue organizing Peyragudes. Being a father of two, president of the IDF and holding a full-time job, sometimes things have to slide for a well balanced life. Thanks to Koma for making Peyragudes happen. I look forward to a more low key venue (with a suitable campsite), calmer attitudes from course workers, a road with better surface condition, and lastly a course worthy of being called “World Cup.”
In the end, is it the spectators we are trying to impress, or it it about making the best possible event for the riders? I want to see the lively French scene thriving again at events. It’s becoming overwhelmingly obvious that riders are choosing not to attend races because you get to skate considerably less than attending a free-ride. There are few world cup races that are an exception, those being Maryhill and Kozakov. The success of an event in a rider’s eyes is the amount of runs they get to take and the overall vibe of the event. I love to be able to sit out runs knowing that I’m tired or hungry and still knowing that there will be enough riding left that the break is justified. Two hour plus lunch breaks for course workers do not stoke out the ~200 paying riders. Having an all day open track and a detour shuttle route for riders should allow for the most amount of runs possible. Of course some riders will take advantage and barge the line to get more runs. Some are relaxed and don’t want too many. The idea of our new timing system is to allow lots of qualifying runs, and a common sense honour system should allow the majority to get an equal amount of runs. Now, holding two buses full of riders at the bottom of the track while pumping A/C out the windows is not a respectful way to treat riders or hold us back from getting more runs than the next person. Hitch-hiking became a better option…
Looking forward to a safe and competitive race and going back to Switzerland.
more info on the event on the International Downhill Federation website