A sunny day, a big audience and the world BTT Downhill best athletes performing in the historic neighborhood, made another exiting afternoon of the Lisboa Downtown. The british biker Steve Peat was for the 3rd time the King and the French Anne-Caroline the Queen.
Early in the morning the bikers began training on the circuit surprising many tourists in the area. Besides having the same circuit as the last years, bikers could understand some added difficulties that would turn it slower. The first dismissal of the competition was french biker, Nolvenn Le Caer, nº2 on the world female ranking. She did tried to do it but she was unable due to a injury made 3 days before while training up. Ass the others bikers were up to the mark.
Adrenaline went up at 14:00h when the Portuguese André Beato started the race. From this moment on bikes began to slope downwards amazingly, meandering in the small streets of Alfama and also in it’s stairs, while the audience turned more and more exited. By the winning-post, the chronometer stopped every time a biker arrived and every new time record this were a new King or Queen.
This happened until Cedric Gracia, winner of the first edition of the Lisboa Downtown in 2000, gets the semi-final record. The French biker went down the 1000m course in 1m39s097 and the following bikers couldn’t break the record. To note that only one second separated the four best qualified of the semi-final. Mick Hannah (AUS) was the 2nd, David Vazquez (ESP) the 3rd and Steve Peat (GBR) the 4th. The best Portuguese was Cláudio Loureiro in the 10th place.
From the 48 bikers of the semi-final, only the 30 best got qualified for the final declivity and among them were 4 portuguese bikers.
The female bikers were 13, 10 of which proceeded to the next stage. The world pluri champion Anne Caroline (FRA) dominated the semi-final with a time record of 1m50s291, 4 seconds faster than Helen Gaskell (GBR), the 2nd best female biker today. Anneke Beerten (NED) took the 3rd place. The portuguese representant Ana Martins didn’t manage to go to the final, getting the 13th place.
After a break to get some rest in order to perform again, the finalists were driven up to the castle to start the great final. As usual in these competitions, bikers in the 2nd slope started to give their best and got more spectacular. Some got better records and others got falls.
In the final, female were the first to run, and their time records were getting better than before. The faster was, once again, Anne Caroline, this time with 1m47s103, winning for the first time Lisboa Downtown. This will make her stronger for the Laureus World Sports Awards, where once again she’ll be present on the Alternative Sports.
The big surprise came from Anneke Beerten. She got the 2nd place Helen Gaskell got the 3rd best time.
Meantime, Alfama was crowded and red-hot, whith male bikers performing.
Cláudio Loureiro turned to be, once more, the best portuguese although getting only 17th place.
Emotions were indeed kept for the final, for the performance among those that had already shown their skills. But all bikers were far from their records. Steve Peat was the King with record of 1m35s962. After this, 3 riders, Vazquez, Hannah and Gracia did their best trying to break his record, but this didn’t happened.
Mick Hannah got the 2nd place and Gracia the 3rd. The spanish Dvid Vazquez, number one in the word Downhill ranking stood in 4th and the world champion Greg Minner (RSA) couldn’t get more than the 7th place, in his Honda NR01 first use.
Steve Peat was the winner for the 3rd time consecutively in an afternoon of great show for all, specially for Extreme Sports fans.
Next year Lisboa Downtown will be back!!!RESULTS
1. Steave Peat (GBR), 1m35s962
2. Mick Hannah (AUS), 1m36s900
3. Cedric Gracia (FRA), 1m38s031
4. David Vasquez (ESP, 1m38s382
5. Samuel Hill (AUS), 1m39s823
1. Anne-Caroline Chausson (FRA), 1m47s103
2. Anneke Beerten (HOL), 1m51s861
3. Helen Gaskell (GBR), 1m53s536
4. Marielle Saner (SUI), 1m54s222
5. Sabrina Jonnier (FRA), 1m54s791