Quindecennial Valparaiso Cerro Abajo : The 15 Year Anniversary
I have been fortunate enough to travel to Valparaiso, Chile three amazing times for the legendary urban race, Red Bull Cerro Abajo. This year it was a last minute trip and as always, I was super stoked I made the journey. 2017 marks the fifteenth anniversary of the urban race and notably, all of the experience gained by the organization over this time has paid off. The course this year took on an much different line than other years and in my opinion, it was the best one yet. One thing that was noticeable this year was the size of all the jumps and drops, everything was bigger and gnarlier. The culture and energy that is Valparaiso mixed with the great sport of down hill mountain biking makes this race one and only.
Mural artists work hard in Valparaiso. The city is covered with some of the best mural art in the world. Here artists prepare a custom mural for the 15th Anniversary edition of Valparaiso Cerro Abajo!
Pre-race riders meeting
The pizza at the pre-race riders meeting was world class.
Shuttles to the top.
Locals along the race course are stoked about the influx of energy the race brings.
Locals getting into position for the race.
Just one of the many walls of spectators that start to form early Sunday morning in the streets of Valpo.
The race organizers dream of having riders race through a house, came true this year. They built the race course right through the guts of this classic Valpo home.
Unknown rider launches out of the house for the first time during practice.
Frenchman Hebert Ambroise keeping his speed around the corner in prep for the giant bus gap.
Chilean rider Ignacio Rojo is the only competitor that has competed in every single one of the 15 Cerro Abajo Urban DH races in Valparaiso. Here he gets full moto over the 40+ foot bus gap.
Argentina's Mauricio Flores jumps over the massive bus gap with style.
Felipe Argurto is one of the fastest riders in Chile right now. He's young and on top of his game. He had the biggest air and best style by far on the bus gap. Here he sends his way into the top ten.
Tucking the cobblestone.
And the crowds go wild!!.
Getting the rhythm of the stair sections was crucial for keeping speed. Some sets could be doubled up and some tripled. It was just a matter of remembering which was which in your race run!.
Crushing in the rhythm of the stairs.
In general this year, everything was bigger. This drop off the wall has been in earlier editions of the race but this year it was bigger and it seemed to me that the run in was nastier. Full speed off of the street, flat take off on broken concrete and loose dead grass.
Bernard Kerr launching out of the house, low in the saddle to scrub the gap and then brake to make the dirt corner back onto the street below. Look easy right?.
Chilean Pedro Ferreira hitting the wall ride gap high , heading towards his third place podium spot.
Bernard Kerr styles in the wall ride to gap. Most riders avoided the gap but others found a way to make it flow perfectly.
Mauricio Acuna, high off the wall ride, on his way to 4th place.
The drop off the Plaza Bismark.
Holding it together over the bus with the harbour of Valparaiso below.
Full crack off the wall ride. This is how its done.
Tomas Slavik sends it over the wall ride gap as the kids look on with awe.
Logan Binggeli charging the urban jungle of Valparaiso to a 7th place finish this year. Veteran Rampage competitor, he's no stranger to the GNAR
Bernardo Cruz explodes out of the middle of a house.
Style points out of the house.
Getting high on the wall ride
Style points out of the house.
Bamn, out of the sea can.
Bernard Kerr, full style and pop out of the container on his final run.
Tomas Slavik blasts over the container gap on his final run.
Tomas Slavik jumps on stage for an interview seconds after taking the win.
[PI=14439233 width=window] The winners podium:
1st: Tomas Slavik 00:02:48.480
2nd: Bernard Kerr 00:02:50.560
3rd: Pedro Ferreira 00:02:52.520[/PI]
And that wraps up another colourful Valpo Cerro Abajo in the books. Until next year Viva Chile!