Photos and results from the insane Valparaiso Cerro Abajo street race in Chile.
Words and photos: Fraser Britton.
After various delays and course holds, the 2012 edition of the Valparaiso Cerro Abajo urban downhill race got underway under a particularly hot Chilean sun on Sunday afternoon. Attrition had taken it’s toll and those who were still left standing on race day took to the streets, slathered in sun block, in front of 10000 plus screaming mad fans.
For the men it was Mauricio Acuna of Chile (Zenith Bikes) who took home the win. He edged out Filip Polc by just about a second, with Cedric Gracia rounding out the medals in 3rd place. Luana Oliviera was the only woman who chose to race, and sent it in style, getting massive air off of all of the drops and jumps on course.
This year’s track was a slightly modified, much more cleanly laid out version of year’s past. Jumps were solid, welded structures complete with big corporate sponsorships. The extra construction time meant that the welders were busting their asses, working late into the night on Saturday. 4am ticked past to the sound of an angle grinder and welder doin’ work. Of particular interest to riders this year was a newly built wallride that was sending riders HIGH up a hundred year old stone wall at full speed, to the delight of the crowd. The rather large gap with no room for error had a few riders stressing pre-race, but once they all had a chance to ride it, everything was good to go.
With a 3 year deal being signed with the city of Valparaiso, there’s plenty more excitement to come in the next few years. Expect the course to get bigger and better next February; There’s a few more tricks up organizer Victor Herressman’s sleeve to keep everyone on their toes. With a normal World Cup schedule in the works, we can all look forward to a few more big names showing up and trying to show the Chilean local’s how it’s done.
Filip Polc helmet cam.