On 07 September 2011 at 17:09 | updated on 12 September 2011 at 15:12

2011 Downhill World Championships in Bettola (Italy)

2011 Downhill World Championships in Bettola (Italy)

The 2011 Downhill World Championships took place on July 22-23 near Piacenza, Italy, in Bettola. The latter is the town of origin of Davide Taccini, the president of the IIDA, who is a competitor as well. The event saw French Harry Perna establishing himself in winning the FIRS World Title for the second year in a row...


Back to Bettola

Cérémonie de clotureThe town had already welcomed a World Cup competition nearly ten years ago, in 2002. Years have passed and the competitors had to get their bearings back in a downhill which has suffered the effects of time as for the quality of the road…

The course

1,7km long, the downhill is made of four large bends ending with a 180° bend to the left. At the exit of it, curbs follow one another and lead to the difficulty of the downhill: a left-right double bend, 2,5m wide, in-between two buildings with an accentuated slope in the end! A good bunch of skaters experimented flying while taking the double bend…

Last but not least, the last part, with an extremely damaged asphalt, opens the way to the finish line on a brand-new road.

The skaters got surprised by the quality of the road, especially the last part, which gave pins and needles in lots of skaters’ feet during the first climb up in the back of the trucks. Such a shame that the mending of the road didn’t go a dozen meters further before the finish line…

The participants

Despite the presence of the Top-ranked skaters of the discipline who came to fight, there were but a few skaters for the event. Indeed, only 23 men and 4 women took part in the competition. They were from France, Italy, Austria, Germany and Switzerland.

You can draw a lot of hypotheses on the low turnout: an event on one day and a half only, a lack of communication, a lack of means for the participants, not forgetting two events on the same weekend…

However, this didn’t prevent the event from taking place and the skaters to get ready for time trials.

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Friday evening: Opening Ceremony

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After half a day of training, the skaters gathered in the Bettola town hall for an opening ceremony run by the mayor as well as by the organization committee. The ceremony ended up with the giving of their numbers to the participants according to their rankings at the 2011 World Cup.

The competition

The two qualification runs enabled to establish a first ranking and define the order to go for the World Championship run. At the end of the qualifications, Daniel Ladurner holds the best time in front of surprising Swiss Christian Montavon and Harry Perna.

Once the first results given, the skaters climb up again with the trucks, change their wheels and concentrate for the ultimate run. Only one chance, no right to make mistakes, and a title recognized by the FIRS at stake.

The skaters go according to the reverse order of the qualifications, and times are broken one after another.

Amongst the last three men, Harry Perna arrives on the last bend, fakes a slide and finally goes through, sticking to the ground and remaining on the road (NB: for the show, skaters were allowed to go on the sidewalk at the end of the bend), and breaks Daniel Ladurner’s first time, more than 2 seconds ahead with 2’08’’54.

Behind, Christophe Montavon runs in 2’12’’36, on the same bases as his qualification runs, but manages a better trajectory on the sidewalk at the last bend.

The main opponent remains: Daniel Ladurner (Austria), charges down with a perfect trajectory and  sprints to the final line, but he is almost one second behind Harry Perna with 2’09’’35.

There was a burst of joy on the French side with this new world title for Harry Perna. The French results are very good with Alexandre Lebrun (6th), Jonathan Rouffiac (7th) and Emmanuel Michonneau (9th) – non exhaustive list.

In the Women’s Category, Séverine Christ-Thomas keeps the world title without surprise, taking all the risks and reaching 2’16’’83… she would have been 7th in the Men’s Category!

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Emily Sadoux (Descendeurs de la Yaute) causes a stir in winning the Vice-Champion title, 9 hundredth only in front of Marjorie Philippoteau. After a good start this season on the French Championship competitions, Emily managed to capitalize and reach this excellent result.


Despite a low turnout and a damaged road, the championships unfolded well and enabled the French to impose their supremacy in this discipline once again. However, the IIDA committee will draw conclusions to avoid the same disappointments for 2012.

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Useful Links

IIDA Website

By Alexandre Lebrun
Translated by Close Yr E’s
Released  on 07 September 2011 - Read 6019 times

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