Photo and Video Report: Estonian National Downhill Championships x Baltic Downhill Cup #1 2020

Jul 8, 2020 at 2:14
by 2rikko  

The Covid-19 situation has messed up plans all over the world and so happened with Baltic Downhill Cup. First race was supposed to take place in the beginning of June in Ignalina (Lithuania), but now it's moved to August and Kiviõli started out the racing season. Kiviõli is a small mining town in northeast Estonia. The race takes place on an old semi-coke hill that is now used for skiing, biking and other outdoor entertainments.

Everyone has been itching to race again. This time we had 30% more riders participating and the junior category was packed with 23 young guns which shows that the future is bright. Saturday started out sunny, but windy and turned rainy in the afternoon. On sunday morning it was still raining, but the sun came out at midday and dried the race tracks. Track builders did a great job with new sections for both tracks and tried to keep it challenging for elite riders, but doable for the less experienced. All in all the competition was a major success and definitely triumphed previous ones. We promise it's going to get even better.

Artificial hills can be spotted from every direction. Hopefully some day we'll have another even bigger one to ride down from.

87 riders registered to the race and 78 of them finished their runs.

Top form.

Race organizer and the father of Estonian downhill: Juho Mattus. Without him nothing would take place.

A group of Latvians were the first ones to observe the race tracks. Due to the slippery and dusty nature of ash, riders are led to the new grassy turn in the beginning of the track. As opposed to the ruts seen on the left this is a much safer and still challenging option.

After a grassy turn the track split into two. As expected this was one of the hotspots where riders would gather to observe and make decisions on line choices. There were at least three different ways to enter each track.

The first track started out with fast wiggly turns. Then the gap jump from 2018 was made larger.

After a flat right turn came another jump followed by a sharp left hander. Send it too far and your run is done.

"I'm probably going to have a photo of me hitting this jump".

This year the first track got a new bottom section. A new rock garden was built and it determined a lot of riders' runs.

No easy way out.

Now to the second track. This off chamber right turn became a real headache for a lot of riders because there was no support in the bottom and no real ruts developed during practise. Much to the track builders' disappointment the high line saw no use either.

Yet to be crowned Estonian champion Tanel Tõrvik (right) processing the new steps section. While at first it was considered weird and difficult the riders eventually started hitting left line and some madlads would also plow straight through.

All eyes on the chicken line.

The rock garden on the second track got a new entrance which opened up four lines as against the two from 2018.

Taavi Reinike getting ready to do his first practise laps on that beauty.

Sun is shining and everyone is stoked to ride their first competition of 2020.

During saturday's downhill practise an XC race also took place.

Ready, set, GO!!!

After five years Triinu Raid is back on the bike. Her husband Paul was also riding, but he suffered a broken collar bone after blasting into moto whoops on his hardtail. Triinu came over the line at 4th.

Jana Logvinova finished 3rd in Baltic Downhill Cup.

Gerda Einmane had two clean runs and made it to 2nd place.

Miranda factory team rider Maaris Meier took another win with a margin of 12 seconds.

Rei Halla crashed in his second run and had to settle with 4th place in hardtail men category.

Roberts Aubens from latvia finished 3rd. It was his first race.

2nd place for Reimo kiisk.

Jānis Koluškins went home with a first place finish after putting almost 16 seconds between him and Reimo.

Newcomer Emmanuel Ormus finished 4th in U14 boys category. We're excited to see more young riders between the tapes this year.

Henrijs Zeltins finished in 3rd place 4 seconds behind the winning time.

Vilius Keblys was fastest after first run, but a mistake in the second run possibly cost him the top step.

Mats Hakon Jõgeva won the U14 boys with a 2 second margin.

Taavi Pärnamets was 4th after his first run in Junior men category, but mistakes and a mad crash on moto whoops in second run put him to the bottom of results. Luckily he managed to finish his run.

Karl Kevin Kook throwing shapes in practise.

Before his race run Raido Tigane asked advice from me on how to do that off chamber sector. I told him to take the middle line and not to brake hard. No comment.

Tanel Karik was also there for the same advice and did that middle line absolutely perfectly. Unfortunately he crashed in both of his runs and looked clearly pissed after letting his bike go and hit someones bike after finish. He actually had the speed to get on the podium if he had not crashed but still finished 7th.

This was Riko Mäeuibo's second time on a downhill bike. A week prior he also got 3rd at Suomi Downhill Cup in Finland. This guy could be the next great thing for Estonian downhill. This time though he was 4th.

Kenth Lusenberg came in 3rd but still 11.5 seconds behind winning time.

Bootleg Greg Minnaar aka Rokas Sviderskis was a sight to see all weekend. His final approach to moto whoops was just mad.

With an OTB in the rock garden on his first run, Rokas still finished 2nd.

The big thing for Estonian downhill right now: Robert Johanson.

Robert flying towards the finish line and his first Estonian national championships gold. According to him he rode safe on both of his runs, but it still was the fastest time of the day at 1:30.45.

5th place in masters category for the grandfather of estonian downhill: Vijar Teppo. Former Estonian elite champion of many times.

Kristjan Sepp casually taking 4th place. He had the speed for at least 2nd place, but an unfortunate skrrrt in the last corner diminshed that.

Laur Samlik has such a great position on the bike that all photos of him are good. He left this competition with a 3rd place finish.

Alex Fedenko had the fastest time on masters category, but because he didn't have a licence he couldn't be crowned Estonian national masters champion.

Eyes on the prize. Allar Kivisaar took home the gold medal and is now the masters national champ.

This is the bike and kit of the new Estonian masters category's champion. Can't get any better.

Denis Tsuris has gotten faster every year and this time he was on to a 3rd place run in hobby full suspension category, but a crash and a flat front tyre on the second run ended hopes of that.

Karl Oskar Kivioja also had the speed for 3rd place, but he went outside the tape and had to re-enter. He also broke his derailleur.

Ritvas Leiers has steadily gotten faster and climbed the ranks. This time he finished 4th.

Rando Kiik went home with a 3rd place finish.

Gints Bahmanis was fastest on second run, but lost just 0.07 to the first place.

Reinis Lacis racing to the top spot.

Kristjal Kulbert also fell victim to the new rock garden on the first track.

Armands Mežinskis signed up to the men elite category on his dirt jumper. Bold move for sure.

Reinis Mednis had a costly mistake on top of the first track. He finished 7th.

Kristen Põder got 6th place.

Andris-Toomas Martinson finished 5th.

One more from him, because he looks good on the bike.

Juho Mattus as the race organizer didn't get any bike time on saturday and on sunday he had to juggle between 4 practise runs, organizing and the commentator's mic. He still managed to get 4th place.

Previous Estonian champion Hendrik Kirsipuu had to give up his blue, black and white jersey and settle for 3rd place.

Armin Pilv also raced the XC competition on saturday, but on sunday he was eager to win the downhill. Sadly he lost over a second in the beginning of his second run and despite his good split times afterwards he did not manage to get the gold.

Tanel Tõrvik is the new men elite champion. Every year he has gotten close to the jersey, but this year he turned his luck around. What makes it better is that he is the complete opposite to his opponents with a flannel shirt, freeride bike, dropper post and the fact that he doesn't race that much. A true freeracer.

The winning bike: Scott voltage FR 710 from 2015.

Estonian champions: (from left) Allar Kivisaar, Tanel Tõrvik, Maaris Meier, Robert Johanson.

Mart-Melchior Sard put together an awesome conclusive video of what went down on race day:

And here are the results:


  • 2 0
 great read! massive effort in both organizing and covering this, many thanks to everyone involved. Kiviõli is a great spot.
An OFC congrats to all the champs and also Alex Fedenko Big Grin
  • 2 0
 Great report Raiko! It was a nice flashback with photos and reading all the comments about riders!
  • 2 0
 Massive Job Raiko - Massive thank you to all the riders and all of the spectators who took part of this years Champs!
  • 2 0
 Nice work. Great to see downhill not dead in Baltics!!
  • 2 0

You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login
Copyright © 2000 - 2023. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.048582
Mobile Version of Website