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Pinkbike's Official Video - 2013 Red Bull Valparaiso Cerro Abajo

Mar 1, 2013
by Lucent Productions  
Views: 136,449    Faves: 760    Comments: 23

I once again had the opportunity to leave the cold of Boston's frigid climate in the middle of February and board a plane to Chile for the Red Bull Valparaiso Cerro Abajo. This was my 3rd time attending, and the 11th year for the race, and it get's bigger and more crazy every year. The VCA is hands down my favorite event to go shoot, despite how compacted and crazy the race-day shooting ends up being. Snaking a course through the city streets or literally on top of families doorsteps means the VCA team has to do a lot of ramp prep off-site and can't actually start to put things into place until Saturday afternoon, with many of the workers welding some features late into the night. Come race day, they will have to setup, prep, and fine tune the course & features within hours, which is no easy feat when you have 6000 ft of metal riot fencing to install through busy streets and neighborhoods. Not to mention they completely shut down one of the busiest plazas in Valparaiso for the finish line! With the addition of Red Bull as the title sponsor, I knew that crowds would be even larger, which was great to see, but for shooting it meant squeezing my way through tight openings, herds of people, and scaling the occasional 6' riot fence with 2 cameras and a huge bag...not an easy task.

The heroes of this race are Victor and his amazing team of over 150 workers who work for many days straight getting this race together in time. They have a tough logistical task to make this race run smoothly but they always deliver a great show for the 15k+ fans that show up! Thanks again to everyone in Valpo for once again giving me the opportunity to experience the South American hospitality and the most insane race action.

Special thanks to the following for additional footage:

Filip Polc
Marcelo Gutierrez
Chris Van Dine
The VCA media team
Channel 7 News Perth
Drones of Prey

Posted In:
Red Bull

Author Info:
lucent avatar

Member since Jul 8, 2005
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  • 65 2
 One of the first MTB videos I ever saw was of this course, and its still mind blowing every time I see it. Hands down one of the coolest things in the sport.
  • 62 10
 The only thing that tops out a world cup event are these urban DH events,it's more hardcore,it has more spectators and there is no room for any mistake to make.Bring the urban to the world cup stage
  • 28 112
flag lenmerderdenfer (Mar 1, 2013 at 10:07) (Below Threshold)
 I strongly disagree. Are you saying that World Cup DH isn't hardcore enough for you? Oh, that's right paved roads are hard; that must be the core of your comment. By the way, did you notice all the trash in the streets and gutters? World Cup DH must remain in the woods!
  • 22 70
flag lenmerderdenfer (Mar 1, 2013 at 10:10) (Below Threshold)
 In no way do I mean any disrespect for the riders in this cool event.
  • 42 6
 I agree with lenmerderdenfer, the world cups belong in the woods and valleys. however it would be cool to see some kind of urban DH series
  • 12 73
flag lenmerderdenfer (Mar 1, 2013 at 10:22) (Below Threshold)
 Negative props? You're insane!
  • 12 69
flag lenmerderdenfer (Mar 1, 2013 at 10:24) (Below Threshold)
 It's so hardcore that you can ride it with a camera circling around your head. By the way I really love what Polc does.
  • 16 4
 So it doesn't top the WC because there is litter in the street ?!?????
  • 16 0
 Urban races and World Cup races are two completely different beasts with very different aspects that make them equally as crazy. In a World Cup you have to pick and choose your lines, often dealing with changing course and weather conditions throughout days of riding. You have high speed, rough, gnarly terrain where a simple mistake at race speed could be the end of your weekend (or season).

In Urban races you have to deal with different bike setup (stiff suspension, different tire choice, etc), navigating stairsets and pavement that provides not much traction, all while riding in an environment that is totally different than most are used to, where you have telephone poles, animals, tight areas barely wider than bars, and not to mention people to worry about. The consequences of crashing at an Urban race ARE higher IMO, hence why I think a lot of World Cup guys get a bit sketched out doing it for the first time.
  • 2 0
 Wasn't the Downtown race in Lisbon part of the World Cup at some point ?
  • 4 0
 lenmerderdenfer - I would make a bet that Polc is only one of a few guys that would dare ride with the 360 pole cam. Many times he would have to stop and straighten it out in sections where its WAY too tight...you just didnt see it in the video.
  • 8 4
 lemmerderdenfer let me get this very clear to you the world cups tracks can be riddin by any one who has skills & the world cup tracks always has lines that non experienced riders can take with out going big or have the balls to do it,also you can make mistakes in the woods on a world cup track or on any DH track since it's a more open space than in the urban environment.

How ever most of these urban downhill races are more gnarly than on a world cup track & since all these pro's are hitting these stuff soo fast,you don't whanna crash on these tricky sections like the steep stairs,narrow parts that are not much wider than your handle bars when going 60km/h & the huge gaps that come out of no where.Where have you seen more intense spectators like these at a world cup event? i think for these pro's it must be awesome experience riding for 25,000 spectators that come to watch these riders shred in their city.
  • 34 0
 Antoine Bizet (2nd @ rampage 2012) was too scared to race, i guess that gives you an idea of how sick this is...

nuff said...

ps: viva Chile mierda!!!
  • 3 10
flag jsmurthwaite (Mar 1, 2013 at 11:38) (Below Threshold)
 Some of my thoughts on the dangers and excitements of Urban DH. enjoy Smile
  • 5 50
flag lenmerderdenfer (Mar 1, 2013 at 12:13) (Below Threshold)
 Tell Gwin, Minnar, Peat, or the Athertons that their sport is less gnarly. I explicate dare you! Fools! Damn fools! Pink bike is becoming quite lame. I may have to evolve some where else. Here's a shout out to fantaman!!! You're great!
  • 6 39
flag lenmerderdenfer (Mar 1, 2013 at 12:21) (Below Threshold)
 Stand on the hill at Val d'Isère or Val di Solé and tell me and the riders that it is not hard core. Did you see the latest Atherton video, at the quarry, now that's pretty hardcore!
  • 17 0
 Basically anyone that rides a decent amount can make their way down most WC tracks. There are ride arounds, and smoother lines through basically everything. It might take you 10 or 12 minutes to do what it takes one of those guys 3 and a half, but you could do it. With urban DH, if you don't keep the same pace as the pros then you basically are going to crash/die a terrible death. You have to be going that fast to just clear the jumps and those massive gaps. Plus dirt is way more forgiving than asphalt...
  • 22 4
 lemmerderdenfer it's best that you shut up for now & don't get on peoples nerves
  • 2 0
 I agree, to a degree, that the world cup DH should remain in the woods/mountains... that is the discipline.... The Urban DH is a whole other level of riding... I have ridden the ontario cup and quebec nationals at fortune... shredded at Mont. St.Anne, and yeah.. if ur unsure of something there IS a ride around. This Urban DH... and I do like riding urban... is insanity!!! Pure, Unbridled, two wheels vs the asphalt vengeance!! It should be a WC tour of it's own, though I imagine the injuries list would be substantial enough, lol... Beer
  • 4 0
 lenmerderdenfer relax ... it's still the same sport. I'm sure that all these guys you mentioned would love to race urban if their sponsors let them. Cedric did and he's a legend.
  • 13 3
 go home lenmerderdenfer, you're drunk
  • 10 14
flag CookiemonsterMan (Mar 1, 2013 at 16:21) (Below Threshold)
 lenmerderdenfer just shut the fuck up. from all of us that read your stupid comments..
  • 6 2
 The conversation of the World Cup belonging in the woods etc. is nill. Urban racing is a completely different beast. Totally different race, unrelated to the WC, so I cannot comprehend why someone would try to make that argument.

As to which is more gnarly, I would have to give the nod to Valpo. Yes, Val di Sole and Val di Sere(sp?) are very gnarly tracks, most beginner downhill riders would probably not be able to descend these tracks safely. WC racing is gnarly, and very dangerous. I think one of the most dangerous and skill oriented sports out there. Arguably just as dangerous as motocross and Supercross. People have paralyzed themselves, some have died. You can't compare Valpo and the WC Circuit. The only similarity they share is the fact that they are both DOWNHILL MOUNTAIN BIKE RACES. On that basis alone, comparing the consequences of RACING your DOWNHILL MOUNTAIN BIKE down ANY WC Circuit track, to the consequences of RACING your DOWNHILL MOUNTAIN BIKE down Valpo.... well there is no comparison. The most dangerous things you encounter on a WC Circuit is speed, trees, and/or rocks. At Valpo, you do reach WC speed, and you do see some trees/rocks in addition to enormous amounts of concrete and metal rails. And then you add in no traction, huge blind jumps, animals, fans so close they can touch you, and barely any practice time? Any normal person without a mental disability and vision can plainly see that Valpo is the more dangerous situation.
  • 4 2
 leave him alone at least he isnt writing paragraphs
  • 10 17
flag lenmerderdenfer (Mar 2, 2013 at 0:27) (Below Threshold)
 I never said that I hated anything; some ass-wipes just say such idiotic statements about how super "uber" duper hardcore something is without considering the full issue. I have hated nothing accept the ridiculous attitudes here above. What is this kindergarden play time? What's more, to all those here who so brashly told me to shut up or go f*ck myself well... I wish you the same merry thoughts!
  • 1 0
 While agree that you can't exactly compare a WC to an urban DH Race i don't think it's a ridiculous idea to incorporate one or two into the WC calender. At the end of the day the WC season this year is barley a series there's so few rounds. This video and all the others you'll see of urban DH races show thousands of spectators watching and learning about a sport they do nothing about, a sport that the vast majority of the population no nothing about! That sort of exposure brings about sponsors, advertising and investment, something downhill a World Cup level needs to survive...
  • 3 0
 Anyone notice that the first couple comments were of people arguing but their flags were the same color but differnt direction? Aha like its vertical vs horizontal .......just pointing it out aha
  • 1 0
 franchute, shut up you showerman
  • 22 0
 Ok... I'm building a berm at the bottom of my stairs today.
  • 14 0
 Viva Chileee!! i really amazing to see that race in person! been there twice ...you should also see the legs of the women who live in Valparaiso! 365 days of gym-like exercise walking those steep streets and stairs!
  • 4 0
 Viva Chile indeed, you guys almost have it as good as the guys in BC.
  • 15 1
 Chile !!
That's how we roll Big Grin
  • 6 0
 viva Chile....................
  • 3 0
 .... mierda!
  • 11 1
 this was the winning run by Marcelo Gutierrez
  • 3 0
 Hell, that was impressive !
  • 10 0
 I would hate to see the crash reel for this event. Yikes! :O
  • 9 0
 This isn't a crash reel, but it shows how f*ckin' scary that wallride was


  • 1 0
 that is a nasty couple crashes...
  • 1 0
 yeahhh VIVA CRT! y la chicha y la empaNA...jejej
  • 9 0
 chi chi chi , le le le, VIVA Chile !!
  • 3 0
 Been there twice a few years ago... It's awesome!!! Everyone cheering like hell, the riders giving them self to the edge. Also U should how everyone screams when Adolfo Moreno is riding ( the guy with metal legs).
  • 2 0
 I thought it was adolfo alamarza?
  • 2 0
 yes is adolfo almarza
  • 1 0
 Ups... just realize... my bad... got exited!!
  • 8 4
 Anybody look at the cover photo and think it was Gwin only to remember, "That's right, Gwin is Spesh/TLD now..."
  • 2 1
  • 2 11
flag c4mtb (Mar 1, 2013 at 9:11) (Below Threshold)
 in my opinion Gwin made it a show for popularity, but these guys when they interviewed them you could tell that they did it purely for the love of riding. such a sick looking race!!
  • 3 0
 Trust me you don't want the UCI involved, just keep a nice series going on the off season and let some industry sponsor to help grow, Right on, in your face gladiator stuff!
  • 1 0
 just an FYI.... VCA was a UCI level 1 race this year, and has been many time in the past.
  • 4 0
 great video! How do they get that rotating helmetcam shot?
  • 2 0
 Polc has a Go360 mount. I tried looking it up and found (from their Facebook) that they're not making it anymore due to copyright problems Frown
  • 1 0
 looks like they still have some stock left, just no new production: www.go360.com.au/products-page/go360/camera-swivel-mount
  • 4 0
 Chi CHi CHi Le le le , VIva CHILe !!!!!
  • 2 0
 I would LOVE to see one of these races up close and personal!!! CRAZY how Elliot Jackson said "some guy patted me on the back as i was coming down the stairs"!!!!!
  • 4 0
 Lookin' great Justin.
  • 2 0
 No doubt.
  • 5 0
 No diggity?
  • 6 0
 maybe next time
  • 2 0
 why Bizet, who is good pilot, scared so much about the track? anybody knew?
  • 2 0
 Concrete walls , railings , stray dogs , no room for error , and huge speeds , sounds pretty scary to me
  • 3 0
 He was there representing Kona, as the largest Kona importer is a major sponsor of the race (Oxford). He wasn't "too scared" to ride, he is getting over an injury and wasn't feeling like he was at 100%, and on a gnarly Urban track it would have been dumb for him to ride. He hung out with the fans, and did some mellow riding in Chile after the race.
  • 1 0
 This would be an awsome race to watch! Id luv to do this race as well. Nice coverage of the event. Cedric placed fourth only four months after a harsh crash!
  • 2 0
 Anybody else's hands start sweating watching that? Damn, talk about consequence!
  • 2 0
 Amazing video to show how is dificult to make a great fucking downhill show!
  • 3 0
 1:37 harlem shake?
  • 2 0
 yup. Thanks CG for that one Smile
  • 2 0
 Can we get Flips full run with the rotating head cam?
  • 2 0
 Probably the sketchiest race I have ever seen!
  • 1 0
 Great video Justin! Valparaiso Cerro Abajo is sooooo sickkkk, props for Victor H. and his team! good work guys!!
  • 1 0
 sick to see eliot jackson riding even though he called it day a month or so ago
  • 2 0
 How does the helmet cam spin? So sik!
  • 1 0
 I want to know that too. That is an awesome perspective.
  • 1 0
 Nice vid. Would have loved to hear a little something from CG for placing 4th after nearly dying and all. Oh well.
  • 1 0
 Tried to get an interview with him after the race but he peaced out pretty quickly and wasnt staying near us. Frown
  • 1 0
 such a nice video of an awesome event!
  • 1 1
 Why does people argue about some stupid shit every time? It's Pinkbike not Youtube..
  • 1 0
 utter madness.....what a video and race
  • 1 0
 urban downhill is very very nice... great video *-*
  • 1 0
 Wow i didn't realize how insanely big those gaps were from the headcams.
  • 1 0
 Sick race! Polc's cam is sweet, too.
  • 1 0
 4:26 jump looks fricking EPIC !
  • 1 0
 those stair railings......scary. Absolutely amazing race.
  • 1 0
 2:52!!! What an awesome freaking shot!
  • 1 0
 neko had a bloody face on his race run, i wonder where he crashed
  • 1 0
 totally sick... ! awesome
  • 1 0
 Urban downhill is hardcore as f*ck.
  • 1 0
 the most awesome mtb competition worldwide!!
  • 1 0
  • 1 0
 Sick Stuff!
  • 3 3
 I think gutierrez is riding weakly kkkkkkk the man is destroying!!!!
  • 1 0
 looks like fun stuff.
  • 1 0
 Such a cool event, its crazy how fast they go in such tight stairways
  • 1 0
 yaa i was thinking that as well. its always fun doing that kind of stuff for fun, but for an event must be just crazy!
  • 1 0
 Great vid!
  • 1 0
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