Video: Medellin Sets World Record for Longest Ever Urban Downhill Race Track

Dec 3, 2018
by James Smurthwaite  

The Downhill Challenge Medellin has set the Guinness World Record for the longest urban downhill mountain bike race track in the world. The 2,274.485 metre long track snaked through Commune 13 of the Colombian town, which is infamous for its association with drugs baron Pablo Escobar.

The record was corroborated with "topography experts" and the UCI and was confirmed by Natalia Ramirez Talero, official adjudicator of the Guinness World Records. With hundreds of steps, tight corners and a couple of hefty booters at the bottom, the track looks to be a proper test of riders. That said, a lung-busting climb in the bottom third of the track will probably have been the hardest section of the race on downhill bikes - a case of quantity over quality maybe?

The race was won yesterday by Chilean rider Pedro Ferreira with a time of 3:49.79, with Adrien Loron in second and Bernard Kerr in third.


111 Comments

  • + 107
 They also set the world record for least flowy urban dh track
  • + 15
 What if you just lived there and this was your normal bike commute to work everyday.
  • + 28
 I would end up at the hospital on most days instead of work?
  • + 90
 Not surprised the worlds longest line is in Colombia... Wink
  • + 1
 @diggerandrider: You'd probably go through one of those roofs being held down by rocks.
  • - 1
 @radman13: I see what you did there!!
  • + 2
 @radman13: I see what u did there... Good thing there's no snow on the track or they would get chopped up for sure!
  • + 1
 Well that’s 1.413 miles and the winning time is only a 22.136 mph average
  • - 1
 @diggerandrider: well look, you can get mugged or robbed anywhere, but having an event there is one thing, and pedaling a fancy bike through there daily is potentially not going to end well for being the owner of it. If you’re lucky it will just be your bike. That’s not any knock on the general populace or country, but when your bike, etc. costs 10x more than the average annual wage and is out there for everybody to see then somebody might even just do it out of spite, feeling like you’re rubbing their nose in it. It’s just a sad aspect of occasional human nature. I wouldn’t any more think about doing it there than many other major city urban areas in any other country, including here in the US. The comments further below about it only happens by bringing it on yourself are misleading. Yes, sometimes that’s the case, but plenty of innocent and naive people get robbed and and a lot worse all over the world.
  • + 0
 if a downhill race, has an uphill section, is it still a downhill race?
  • + 1
 a 2 stage enduro?
  • + 1
 i reckon the risk of a heart attack on the push up home must be pretty high as well
  • + 1
 @radman13: Of course your name is radman13
  • + 4
 @TheUnknownMTBR: Dude I raced in the event and it was chill. I have my bike and all my organs. Stop being lame. Colombia is dope. Visit before you start with the bs
  • + 0
 @bubba120491: I qualified my comments very clearly based on my own experience, traveling in my own country as well as abroad. If you can take advice as well as dispense it; try reacting less and comprehending more. Because you cleary twisted my words, which are not the same as comments further below that your own would be more appropriate for.
  • + 29
 Sounds more like they artificially increased the length of the track at the cost of quality to have 'the world's longest track'. This isn't really a DH if there is prolonged uphill. This is more marketing event than race.
  • + 38
 I find your lack of faith disturbing
  • + 11
 What kind of marketing takes place a couple days before the event? If this was a marketing scheme, this info. would have been released when they first solidified the course and were promoting it.

It kind of sucks to see so many including the author connecting this race and location to a troubled history that took place 30 years ago.... time to move on, people. Colombia is an incredible place to visit with I think, 6 different ecosystems all in one country. Its unreal and I cant wait to rip around the coffee region next summer.
  • + 2
 @TrevZ

A race is a race.....I'm guessing the riders knew what they were entering so who's more upset, you or the guys on the podium?
  • - 1
 @scott-townes: there has been a lot of killing up there lately is probably as bad as when it was at its worst.
  • + 1
 @scott-townes: Goin for the coffee? Suuuuurrre you are
  • - 7
flag scott-townes (Dec 3, 2018 at 9:51) (Below Threshold)
 @fercho25: Absolutely false. You're welcome to refer to the chat below. Stop spreading that shit propaganda here.

medellinguru.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/MedellinHomicideRate-1024x639.jpg
  • + 12
 @scott-townes: Jesus Christ you dont live here and yet are qualified to talk, amazing,yeah Medellin as a whole city is way more safe than it used to be that is fact. The comuna 13 however still is dominated by gangs, very smart gangs that know that allowing safe haven though the outskirts for tourism increases their drug sales, but please be my guest when you are here get out of the "tourist" part of the comuna and go really up there then tell me you came back alive. You know there were no public trasnportation buses going up there for the better half of this year? you know that when a guy refused to pay for the blackmail they just gave the order to gun down whoever was at the bus parking lot? including a 60 something old guy who was just drinking cofee in the corner? Medellin is way more safe but please dont be so delusional as to think the comuna is all happines and love. here are some real news for you to educate yourself.
colombiaplural.com/medellin-bajo-fuego-que-ocurre-en-la-comuna-13
and if you want not made up on the internet proof please let me know when you are here I am an attorney and have many friends at the Mayors office I can take you there for you to know the thruth. Im seriously not trying to one up you is just that our mayor is very happy selling the narrative that evrything here is great and dont get me wrong for tourism it is but that doesnt take away from the fact that most of the people living in the comuna are living in hell.

And yeah a one day race thing with a lot of police and military proofs nothing as I said the gangs are very smart they probably enjoyed the race and then went on charging their weekly extorsion fee when the police force was gone.
  • + 2
 @scott-townes: By the way that graph is super wrong and unless is doing like a per x amount of citizens thing but since it doesnt have any sources ill give you some on 2017 there were 517 murders. www.elcolombiano.com/antioquia/seguridad/homicidios-en-medellin-durante-2017-FD7948557

on 2018 just on June in the Comuna 13 there were 37 recorded murders and that is before it got really bad.

www.elcolombiano.com/antioquia/seguridad/asesinatos-en-medellin-durante-2018-EY8991798
  • + 3
 @fercho25: wrong...in 2017 were 7069 victims -.. more than double as the year before and three times as much as in 2008.
Most of this is drug related and thereis no program in place to stop that because the poltcal parties try to use the fear.
  • + 0
 @fercho25: " Jesus Christ you dont live here and yet are qualified to talk, amazing,yeah Medellin as a whole city is way more safe than it used to be that is fact."

Ah OK so I can't speak on the matter and yet you admit I was being factual in reference to the topic at hand- Medellin, where this race is happening. Gotcha.
  • - 2
 @fercho25: dude. shut the f**k up and just ride your bike. This is not the place for crying your heart out.
  • + 8
 @scott-townes: Yeah I was annoyed by your ignorance and I started my comment quite angrily, should have deleted that part and I am sorry if it was disrespectul to you. I shifted the intention of my comment from angry rebuttal to trying to inform you why is not "a troubled history that took place 30 years ago" but something that is still happening and we should not pretend like it isnt. and no you were not being factual as all the sources I quoted can show you.
  • + 9
 @danielfox: I think its interesting to hear from a guy who is very near the race at hand and providing some real world experience with the area. Kind of what the internet is good for, when its good.
  • + 6
 @scott-townes:
I’d love to watch you ‘rip around the coffee regions’ within comuna13 !!! Your chat is made for the internet. Listen to people who know what’s up. No one is glamourising anything. The whole reason for the event is that it’s an area that’s struggling. Just because you watched Narcos on Netflix doesn’t mean you’re king of Colombia. ????????????
  • + 1
 @fercho25: well said dude. ????
  • + 8
 Here is the typical comment from a guy who is from Colombia but doesn't even go to the comuna and just reads what the local media tells him. I bet he never been up there in the comuna 13 for more than a day. Talking bad sh¡7 about your own country is such a coward thing to do, be part of the solution not the problem.
  • + 3
 @danielfox: totally agreed. I know the guy he doesnt even ride... just a cry baby from a rich family that talks ???? about his country thinking that will make him better. Go ride fernando.
  • + 1
 @cannondh: well said santimen, a local talking crap about his own country
  • + 0
 @fercho25:@fercho25: Stop talking out your ass. It's like anything else in life if your an arrogant d1ck or disrespectful to others your going to possibly get rolled and have your ass beat and your bike taken like your a child.

On the other hand if you have some common sense and respect life in general you'll enjoy all the great experiences.

I've lived in Bogota, Cali and now Manizales and I've spent plenty of time in Medellin the past 9 years and Colombian people good and slightly bad are still the kindest and most friendly people in the world and the Mountain bike scene is the fastest growing in the world and for all the right reasons.
  • + 1
 @scott-townes: dropping knowledge on nuggets
  • + 3
 @fercho25: dude wtf?! I bet you that you have never been there. Just try not to be the person who only talks bullshit based on what you read in the newspaper.
  • - 1
 @OllyWilkins: Are you insane? I'm telling you not to conflate Colombia with that show. Aside from visiting there, my long-time GF and literally all of her family I'm close with are from there (mainly small fishing villages or Bogota). You're blindly believing some rando's comments about Colombia because he changed his country to Colombia before responding to my comment and conveniently changed his city to Medellin. I kid you not.

Medellin is like the silicon valley of Colombia. Educate yourself, you self-righteous, bandwagon douche. It really sucks PB doesn't take the time to properly represent areas which in turn hurts that area's reputation and tourist business because it seems PB members are too ignorant and lazy to learn about it themselves.
  • + 3
 @scott-townes: No. I spent 2 weeks here building this track in this neighbourhood. I know exactly what goes on there and I am by no means a bandwagon douche. Because your girlfriends family is from a fishing village in the same country doesn't seem that relevant to me. Talking as if a place is free from trouble with such gusto is annoying to me. It isn't and you don't know...so why comment in such a way? You are the worst kinda guy
  • + 1
 @OllyWilkins: Awww you spent two weeks in one area. That must make you an expert. I never said it was "free from trouble" or can't you read?
  • + 24
 Wow! Look how far our sport has come. So incredible to see the dh scene alive and well, adapted to the urban environment of Medellin! People cheering everywhere, vivid-colourful street art lines the track rather than tape. This makes me happy.
  • + 8
 Until you realize that they bikes people are riding there are prohibitively expensive for most people there to ride.
  • + 0
 @raditude: uh here too dude. Mtb is a luxury sport
  • + 1
 @raditude: yeah that's how I feel when I watch formula1 or motogp
  • + 16
 Pedalling a dh bike uphill mid race..wtf...my run time would be longer than pablos
  • + 3
 Urban Enduro FTW! Wink Smile
  • + 9
 Saw Sam Pilgrim posted a video of this track yesterday. Looked pretty sketchy in a few spots!
  • + 13
 His Ebike will make short work of the pedal section
  • + 3
 It looked more dangerous than many dh courses. One wrong move or equipment failure in way too many places and it potentially wouldn’t end well. That said, a well pedaling enduro bike might have been a better choice ...
  • + 1
 @trailblazertools: Amazing. An ebike company makes a non-ebike.
  • + 7
 I thought Chinese escalators were dangerous!!! The one near the end with a death gap too boot is mad..
  • + 8
 RIP headphones users.
  • + 7
 Urban DH races are so unbelievably pointless...
  • + 5
 You writing comments on pinkbike is pointless. Me responding is pointless.
  • + 1
 Looks like a pretty sick run. Some of those turns at speed with a small railing or tape to keep you focused on not blowing over the edge.....And the high speed stair sections were tight. Kickers near the end before the hay bale slalom were also pretty sweet. All in all, ripping it! Just sad that governments can’t take back their own countries from thugs and give the people and their families a safe and productive environment. All countries, not just this one..
  • + 1
 THAT is a serious track, bring extra danger too downhill, maybe get some sponsers for next year too cover up thoughs railings, amagine what would happen if you caught your bars/ arm in though those railings or did someone do it happen already?
  • + 5
 Dude good point. Plus we should take out all the trees next to dh tracks and all jumps should be tables. Also rock gardens?! Let’s make them into foam gardens. Way better.
  • + 1
 @aljoburr This. I cringe so often when seeing urban dh. I love the concept, also bringing the sport to countries where typically its too expensive to have big events. But it is just s o sketchy. Look at all the stuff lying around, you really have to thread the needle and get your line 100%. Spectators standing in groups mere inches from the track. So much unnecessary danger caused by what looks like a lack of organization.
  • + 1
 @daweil: I just hope no one got seriously hurt, as so many hazards, I am not saying need to remove all hazards but raillings are specially bad if get anything caught in them & sponsor boards work good to remove that risk- win win!
  • + 2
 Amazing to see this race in Comuna 13. My wife and I visited Medellin and did a walking tour on this neighborhood. A lot of history, graffiti art, and culture, A must for anyone visiting Columbia
  • + 1
 After reading Fercho25's comment this sounds dangerous. Might want to approach a guide (who is also a guard) beforehand.
  • + 2
 @colincolin: dude, Fercho25 is the kind of guy who doesnt even be there in all his life, he only reads bullshit from the newspaper and watches Narcos.
  • + 2
 Pretty cool having this in the middle of a chaotic city. Cause we all know if back flip happens in the middle of a forest, did it really happen?
  • + 3
 I'm more interested in who holds the record for the longest actual dh trail?
  • + 2
 Just on a total side note...does anyone know what this brig to the local area? Is there an investment made to the town involved?
Also...Track looks rowdy AF
  • + 5
 Huge investment, Great for the area, loads of business, tourism, coverage. It also brings a lot for those who live there in terms of local pride. All materials used are donated to the locals for building work too. We had a team of local guys from neighbouring gangs all work together. Was honestly one of the coolest things I’ve been involved with! Everyone killed it.
  • + 1
 First of all It’s “why don’t you ask your local dealer”
Second never did that shit...
Third it was a joke as a pro mtb girl was involved in that exact type of situation.
  • + 1
 awesome! there were a few tense moments there for sure! especially landing drops and having to go straight into a narrow alley
  • + 3
 Free coca leaf at the start line!
  • + 3
 Anybody know where full results are posted?
  • + 1
 Hoping for the same thing.
  • + 3
 The escalator lead into that step down is stupid.
  • + 2
 So remote lock out for the rear shock and narrow bars are the order of the day
  • + 2
 Good luck with dope testing......Smile
  • + 2
 Now that’s a challenging course for sure.
  • + 2
 Escalator repairman on Monday morning: "What the . .?"
  • + 1
 That climb makes my enduro heart all warm and fuzzy. Let the DH kids sweat a bit Smile
  • + 2
 Boring. Stairs, stairs, flat, stairs...
  • - 1
 Boring comments. Boring guy
  • + 2
 Some fierce lines cut through that city...
  • + 0
 I like how every spot of dirt is covered in trash. Could the people setting up the plywood and tape not grab a trashbag? I'd be embarrassed if I lived there.
  • - 2
 Not that easy, or they might have done it?!
  • + 1
 Even a little climbing on a DH bike is brutal .... that doesn't even look fun
  • + 1
 It looks a urban enduro race...
  • + 1
 That was painful to watch...
  • + 1
 Que grande Ferreira, una bestia!!
  • + 1
 my arms hurt watching this
  • + 0
 I imagine it was quite entertaining for the population there...in a non-lethal kind of way.
  • + 1
 narrow handlebars an absolute necessity!
  • + 0
 Meh...
  • - 3
 Ummmm excuse me but Pablo Escobar was not shit. He was actually a carjacker until he met Griselda Blanco aka the Black Widow. She was the real Colombian drug lord.
  • + 1
 Too much television... go out and ride your bike and do something useful for your life.
  • + 1
 @cannondh: If I was you guess I’d be jealous of me too...
  • - 2
 I really really hate urban DH.
  • + 3
 ditto
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