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    Harry is 2 and the IDF Championship might be decided in La Leonera

    Harry is 2 and the IDF Championship might be decided in La Leonera

    Disclaimer: I have not shown Bug's my maths or totals, this is an unofficial tally of points done on the back of an envelope, I'm happy to be corrected if I have made a mistake. 12 hours later, in the spirit of Cunningham's Law, I have been shown my errors, and I have updated my totals.

    As of the writing of this article, IDF has not updated their ranking due to some late official results from Europe. I originally wrote that Daina was not number one, that is incorrect, he is currently one and Harry two in the rankings. The speculation online all will be decided at the La Leonera World Cup this weekend. From the back of the envelope calculations we have done, that is not true.

    Lets do a quick recap on how the International Downhill Association (IDF) calculates the World Cup rankings. For the top competitors it is all about their top 3 World Cup race results and their top 3 World Qualifying Series (WQS) results.

    From the IDF rule book

    As pointed out by Andrew Atchison, there is another aspect to rankings this year I did not take into account, only one WC race per continent counts. Which means I had Harry's and Chase's totals over inflated. Candy Dungan rightly points out, it was the intention of the previous board to have this rule in place, and that should be honored. This article was not to try and exploit any loophole but to stoke genuine interest in this weekend's race and the World Championship.

    Here is our updated calculation of the current rankings after La Virgen, the 10th race of the year.

    1. Daina Banks (4738) = WC results 1st Kozakov (1000) + 2nd Killington (961) + 3rd Newton's (943) + WQS results of 1st La Virgen (650) + 5th Verdicchio (592) + 5th Gravity fest (592) =4738

    2. Harry Clarke (4743) = WC results 2nd Kozakov (961) + 7th Killington (883) + 6th Newtons (896) + WQS results of 1st Seaside (650) + 1st Moon Rock (650) + 2nd TTT (625) = 4665.

    3. Chase Hiller (4705) = WC results 1st Transylvania (1000) + 7th Newton's (883) + 5th Killington (911) + WQS results of 2nd Moon Rock (625) + 3rd Gravity Fest (613) + 3rd Verdicchio (613) = 4645.

    Who will catch who?

    It is still good news for Harry , he can take the lead with a win at La Leonera. The bad news is that after La Leonera his season is done and if he wins he will almost be at his maximum points for the year, and Daina and Chase can slowly chip away at that lead by improving their WQS results. The reason is, La Leonera is the last World Cup of the year, all the other races are WQS. Harry has almost maxed out his potential WQS points with a 1st, 1st and 2nd. If Harry manages to win Maryhill later in the year, it will only add 25 points (upgrading a 2nd to a 1st). Lets look at each riders maximum points they could get for the year.

    If Harry wins La Leonera and one more WQS (Maryhill) then his points would be 4807.

    If Daina wins La Leonera and two more WQS (Maryhill and Violenta) then his points would be 4911.

    If Chase wins La Leonera and two more WQS (Maryhill and Violenta) then his points would max out at 4861.

    Both Daina and Chase have bigger year end points potential because their totals include lower place WQS points. From now on every time Daina wins a WQS he replaces a 5th place (592) with a 1st place (650) = an extra 58 points.

    A win this weekend in Colombia is essential for Harry. He needs a WC win to have a shot at the title. He would replace a 7th (883) with a first (1000) an extra 117 points.
    For Daina a win and neither Harry or Chase on the podium would give him the World Championship. A lead of at least 150 points with Harry and Chase only able to claw back 25 or 99 points respectively.
    A win for Chase at La Leonera (4762) would not give him the lead but it is a step closer.

    Whatever happens this weekend, it looks like it will be a drag race to the finish at Yaku Rami in Peru. It could come down to who has the budget to keep going? A sponsor flex? For Harry his year is done. After La Leonera the maximum points he can get is an extra 25 for winning a WQS: either La Violenta, Maryhill or Yaku Raymi. I don't think an extra 25 points is going to matter this year, unless he wins La Leonera.

    Lets say Harry wins La Leonera. He has been 2nd in the last two World Cups, so he is due for a win and he must be frothing. If Chase finishes second and Daina third then the points look like this: Harry 4782, Daina 4738 and Chase 4723. This would put the pressure on Daina and Chase to win a WQS race, possible with three WQS races left. However one of those races is Maryhill, notorious for tight racing, riders getting taken out and unexpected results. So not an easy task.

    It is still very possible that the difference between 1 and 2 will be less than 25 points with one race left. That would force Harry to race in Peru. There is also racing to defend a lead. Winning more WQS races would make catching his lead harder even if it is not adding to his overall points total.

    Chase has to podium in Colombia or his year is over. Even if Chase gets 2nd and Daina wins, he is only 72 points behind. He just has to win two more WQS races and he is in the lead. I know, I make it sound so easy.

    What about Daina?

    Daina has the best chance of being World Champion. Even if he does not podium at La Leonera, every time he wins a WQS race he adds 58 points to his total. As he is currently in the lead, he has the most options to extend his lead or defend it.

    The only way the Championship is decided in La Leonera is if Daina wins and Harry and Chase do not podium, highly unlikely. The likely result is someone will come out ahead, but there will be options for everyone else. There is a lot of racing still to do before we can crown the 2019 IDF World Cup Champion.

    La Leonera starts on the 9th August!

    Who do you think will be the 2019 IDF World Cup Champion?

    Kozakov Challenge was a weekend of tight racing

    Kozakov Challenge was a weekend of tight racing

    There were a lot of questions after all the racing at the 2019 Kozakov Challenge.

    Why were Daina and Harry so far out in front in the final?
    How did Daina pass Harry in the final?
    Did Chase Hiller do an inside pass in the dirt in the semi final?
    How did Emily (number one qualifier) come third in the Quarter Finals?
    How did Nick Broms knock himself out of the juniors?
    Was it local knowledge that helped Pavel Zajíc beat the undefeated Kyle Martin in the Masters Final? (unknown both Kyle and Pavel have not returned my messages)
    What happened in the Luge racing?
    Has wheel choice been a big factor this Euro tour?
    Should we handicap Emily in the women's division?

    That last question was tongue in cheek, I don't really want a handicapped race. I am running out of words to describe Emily Pross and her racing. She was in a different league at Kozakov. The WRG could be described as fairly close, but Kozakov was a blow out, the only way the other women are going to catch Emily is if we tie a boat anchor to her skateboard...and that would only make it an even race.

    Why were Daina and Harry so far out in front in the final?
    This was answered in the IDF event post. Max Capps said Chase scrubbed at the top of the course, and him and Chase played catch up with Daina and Harry going out to a small lead in the final.

    I asked Chase about the start. He said "I blew the 2nd corner which made it hard for me to catch back up after that".
    "Just by over sliding it. Daina was unbelievably close to me and I could hear him so when I was sliding I thought he might run into the back of me, so I hooked up to early to not be hit but once I did I had to make another slide when exiting the corner"

    How did Daina pass Harry in the final?
    Max Heaton summed it up as Harry was draft bait. I asked Harry he said "Was out running them. And Daina got me right before the last right and I couldn’t get the draft back"

    Daina's comment was it was a good old draft and pass right into the last corner

    Did Chase Hiller do an inside pass in the dirt in the semi final?
    Chase said "Just hovering over the dirt. Think I might have put a puck in the dirt tho actually"
    My follow up question was; "going for that pass was it 50 50 you were going to make it?"
    "Nah absolutely not. I could see the gap was there and knew that if I went for it I would get it without any risk of collision or crashing myself out."
    A photographer at the event said they got a photo of the pass, I have not seen it, don't know if it has been posted on social media, if it has, please let me know.

    How did Emily (number one qualifier) come third in the Quarter Finals?
    I thought she might have scrubbed in a corner, but she said "I was fine in the corners just made a poor decision in passing in the straight"

    How did Nick Broms knock himself out of the juniors?
    "
    I crashed myself out first corner, then did my best to catch the pack but barely missed them at the finish line"
    Nick was on torched wheels on a hot pavement = into the bales!

    What happened in the Luge racing?
    The key point for luging at Kozakov is having a good start, or drafting someone down the longest straight at the bottom. The track at Kozakov is a bit narrower than other tracks, which makes the start important. It is not everything, but it helps. (more on this below when Abdil Mahdzan talks wheels)

    Abdil's summary of the racing
    "Kozakov luge was super competitive, for both semi and the final. In the semi, I pushed out in front of Ryan who has an amazing push, he played the draft game and got me just before the last right hand corner. In the final, Mikel and Olivier false started, we reran, then Mikel's hands and mine overlapped on the push and we were behind Ryan."
    The common thread that connects a lot of these races is the last right hand corner, that is the place to make a pass that can not be countered.

    From what I have pieced together talking to spectators, Ryan got the best start, he raced hard and protected his lead.

    Chris' Instagram video at the finishline.

    View this post on Instagram

    Street luge finals at #kozakov2019

    A post shared by chris McBride (@pinkluger) on

    Has wheel choice has been a big factor this Euro tour?
    The best part of my conversation with Abdil was wheels. He races on Seismic, and this Euro tour the fastest wheels have been Venom Mach 1 Magums, Seismic Alphas and the Cuei Killers.

    "I was on the 80.5mm Alphas at Kozakov for race day. In hindsight I should have been on the 75.5mm Alphas, I think they helped tremendously towards my win at Verdicchio by giving me faster acceleration since I stayed out in front and nobody was able to pass me. Chase and I both used the 80.5mm at Kozakov and we both acknowledged that we should've been on the smaller wheel."

    My question to Abdil was "You think the faster acceleration is more important at Kozakov than a faster top speed of a bigger wheel?"
    Abdil's reply: "I think tracks that have braking points require a smaller wheel in general. The long straight after the last left hairpin just isn't long or steep enough to gain on someone. I tried very hard to draft Mikel who was on a buttboard (higher off the ground), just couldn't gain on him.
    Case in point about smaller wheels. I got 58.xx times at Newton's in 2017 and 2018 on a 73mm Speed Vent, and got nowhere close to it this year with a 75.5mm BlackOps Alpha. I think the Defcon Alpha would've been close to 58.xx, or perhaps even able to beat the track record I had set in 2018.
    Ryan was on the 75.5mm Alphas at WRG and Kozakov and I think that's one of the reasons he was doing well at those 2 races."

    Kozakov Race Results

    Women
    1st Emily Pross 🇺🇸
    2nd Lisa Peters 🇱🇺
    3rd Grace Wong 🇳🇿

    Left to right: Lisa Peters (2nd), Emily Pross (1st) and Grace Wong (3rd) Photo credit: BTR Leathers

    Luge
    1st Ryan Farmer 🇺🇸
    2nd Mikel Echegaray Diez 🇪🇸
    3rd Abdil Mahdzan 🇲🇾

    Left to right: Mikel Echegaray Diez (2nd), Ryan Farmer (1st) and Abdil Mahdzan (3rd) Credit: BTR Leathers

    Junior
    1st Grégoire Schwab 🇨🇭
    2nd Raphaël Waser 🇨🇭
    3rd Felix Begaud 🇫🇷

    Left to Right: Raphaël Waser (2nd), Grégoire Schwab (1st) and Felix Begaud (3rd) Photo Credit BTR Leathers

    Masters
    1st Pavel Zajic 🇨🇿
    2nd Kyle Martin 🇨🇦
    3rd Jakub Rod 🇨🇿

    Left to Right: Kyle Martin (2nd), Pavel Zajic (1st) and Jakub Rod (3rd) Photo Credit BTR Leathers

    Open
    1st Daina Banks 🇺🇸
    2nd Harry Clarke 🇦🇺
    3rd Chase Hiller 🇺🇸

    Left to Right: Harry Clarke (2nd), Daina Banks (1st) and Chase Hiller (3rd) Photo Credit: BTR Leathers

    Event organiser: Czech Gravity Sports Association
    Event website: http://kozakovchallenge.cz
    IDF Event page

    Dane Hanna wins men's WRG Downhill Skateboard

    Dane Hanna wins men's WRG Downhill Skateboard

    It was the event everyone wanted to win, and Dane Hanna raced the perfect final to win the first men downhill race at a World Roller Games.

    The mixed results of the time trial made for some unusual early heats in the men's bracket. Heat three had the two top USA racers Chase Hiller and Daniel Engel racing each other. They both progressed to round two and met Douglas Dalua in fighting form. Dalua and Engel moving to the Quarters and Chase Hiller getting knocked out.

    Dalua, Chase and Engel battling for a place in the quarter finals

    The two unbeaten racers going into the final were Harry Clarke (AUS) and Dane Hanna (CAN). No surprise that both of them have insanely good push starts, and it was not just Dane, they were both monstering the other competitors.

    The standout country was Australia, although we all know I am a bit bias. They came to Barcelona with a competitive team. They had high altitude training the week before the event in the Alps, and National team leathers thanks to team sponsor @realty. They were easy to follow on the livestream and the team unity was obvious. Their whole team performed above expectation. Out of five qualifiers, four made it through to the round of 16. Zak Mills-Goodwin raced in a stacked heat and young gun Shannon Tully was unlucky to meet Dana Banks, Alex Charleston and Tiago Mohr in the second round. Jacko, Mitty and Harry all made it to the quarters.

    Mitch Thompson (Mitty), Harry Clarke (Potter) and Jackson Shapiera (Jacko)

    It was not just the Aussies who had big representation in the final rounds. Brazil, France and Spain all had big contenders. Óscar Rodríguez won the time trial on Day Three and was storming through the bracket heading to the final.

    The fourth skater in the final was Markarian Yanis who beat Tiago Mohr and Mitch Thompson in the semi. Arguably the four fastest skaters all weekend were facing off in the final: Hanna, Clarke, Rodríguez and Yanis.

    Screen grab of the Men's final livestream (placeholder waiting for a better video)

    It would all come down to the start.

    Harry Clarke found the worse time to break start. This held up the final and Harry received a warning. This caused a problem for the Aussie. He had used his explosive start to jump ahead in his races, and Dane had been doing the same thing. If he broke again, he would be disqualified. Does he play it safe? Unfortunately for Harry, he had a slight hesitation on the second start, enough for him to pull back before the gun. This gave Dane the perfect start and Harry had to play catch up.

    Second fastest off the start was Óscar, no surprise. Dane, Óscar and Harry were so bunched after the first corner, you could throw a blanket over them. The final was the closest racing we had seen all day. The way Harry skated in the final, he was definitely the fastest one there. Dane held his lead the whole way, there were a few shoulder to shoulder moments where if Dane lost his nerve or made a mistake he would have lost the lead. Óscar put the most pressure on Dane the whole way down the track. Harry and Yanis were just trying to find a way through.

    It came down to the last big right corner before the finish. Yanis managed to get inside Harry and was now in third. Dane held his inside line and Óscar was trying to make an outside pass. Somehow Yanis lost traction, and for a split second it looked like a big crash was about to happen amongst the first three. Yanis put a hand down to steady himself and it was enough to lose speed and come in fourth. Dane goes wide towards the finishline making the pass Óscar is trying to do impossible. Harry is screaming down the outside. I think Óscar was so focused on passing Dane he forgot about Harry who snuck into second. Dane Hanna wins and Óscar Rodríguez third.

    It was an exciting final that had almost everything. Dana deserved the win and Harry deserves the beers!

    From left to right: Harry, Dane and Oscar

    RESULTS

    Final
    1st Dane Hanna (CAN)
    2nd Harry Clarke (AUS)
    3rd Óscar Rodríguez (ESP)
    4th Markarian Yanis (FRA)
    Consi Final
    1st Tiago Mohr (BRA)
    2nd Mitch Thompson (AUS)
    3rd Yan Bertinati (BRA)
    4th Daniel Engel (USA)

    Emily Pross wins women's WRG Downhill Skateboard

    Emily Pross wins women's WRG Downhill Skateboard

    Twenty eight women competed in the finals of the Women's Downhill Skateboarding race. Probably the most female competitors ever at a championship downhill race.

    The racing was fierce all day. Two of the most spectacular crashes of the day were in the women draw. Kristi Henriksen crashes in the second round and was taken off course via an ambulance. In the consolation final, Sirley Tabares came off her board and crashed, but was able to walk off course by herself after a rest.

    The two stand out skaters throughout the day were Emily Pross and Vitoria Mallmann. They were ranked 1 and 2, started at opposite ends of the draw and won each of their races all the way to the final.

    Emily won the race from the start. She does not miss many leg days at the gym, her push and start is one of the best in downhill (men and women). She jump to an early lead. Vitoria not getting the best start, and was third behind Lisa Peters. While Vitoria and Lisa battled for second, Emily extended her lead. By turn two, Vitoria was in second and now had one of the hardest jobs in downhill. Chasing down Emily. She was too far ahead to catch her draft, but Vitoria never gave up. She did gain ground, and narrowed the gap but the course at the Barcelona World Roller Games is short and fast, not good for a long chase. The French racer Lyde Begue was not far from Vitoria, She managed to come from fourth off the start and place third at the finish.

    Screen capture of the livestream (placeholder until we get a better quality video)

    It is good news for women's downhill. Large competitor numbers and tight competitive racing all day. Emily has paved the way for women to step up and race fast, and the girls are taking up that challenge.

    Emily was without a doubt the best women skater all weekend. She hungers for competition, so I'm sure she was pleased with the number of women competitors and that they are catching up to her speed. Emily did not make it easy and did not give an inch all weekend. In all the heats and finals she tucked until the finish line in her classic teardrop shape tuck.

    Emily Pross on the podium

    Results

    FINAL
    1. Emily Pross (USA)
    2. Vitoria Mallman (BRA)
    3. Lyde Begue (FRA)
    4. Lisa Peters (NLD)

    CONSI FINAL
    1. Melissa Brogni (BRA)
    2. Teresa Gillcrist (USA)
    3. Rachel Bruskoff (USA)
    4. Sirley Tabares (COL)