Dirt Skate Cross in Liège (Belgium)
A real first
The best skaters of the world made the trip for that two-star event of the WSX Series, which goes off the beaten tracks. The competition took place in the suburbs of Liège, in Herstal. The track is covered and small, so that the opening to the public is impossible for safety reasons. The dirt track is composed of various bumps and bank bends on abrasive asphalt: doubles, pros, tables…
39 men and 7 women entered the competition: Mainly French but also Belgians, Dutch, Germans, Italians, Ukrainians, Russians, Portuguese, Swiss, Senegalese and Czech. The best skaters of the discipline were there, especially: Anthony Avella (RSCT), Christian Montavon (Roller.Ch) the organizer of the Lausanne competition who figures in the Top-10, Harry Perna (Lyon Riders) the winner of the Skate Cross at the Lugdunum Contest. There is also, obviously, Anthony Pottier, the local skater who has a great knowledge of that track… since it is his training place! Last but not least, let's also count on Russian Ilya Sukhenko, the winner of the 2013 Series.
Saturday April, 12th - 6PM: First acquaintance with the track
The track is officially open to the skaters on Saturday at 6PM for a 2-hour survey session.
First observation: Dust is everywhere and it is hard to breathe. Everyone has their own technique: masks for the far-sighted, scarfs for the smart or bare face for the rest. The organization had thought ahead and covered all electronic devices (sound system, computers) with plastic and supplied each registered skater with a plastic bag so that they could protect their personal belongings.
Second observation: The dirt track is very atypical and disconcerts the skaters at first. As the session goes on, the track deteriorates and gets hollowed out so that wooden pallets have to be placed in the hollows in order to consolidate them.
The training session ends with a welcome drink offered by the organization, enabling the skaters to debrief on that atypical track.
Sunday April, 13th
Let's open the ball with the two qualification runs. Times are around 20 seconds. The favorite, Russian Ilya Sukhenko signs the impressive time of 19.303 sec in front of French Anthony Avella (19.952 sec) and local Anthony Pottier.
A lot of French are in ambush over the 20 sec: Harry Perna from Lyon, Flavien Du Peloux from Paris as well as Kevin Quintin and Stéphane Alfano from Marseille.
In the Women's, three French stand out: Aurore Costabile (25,179), Jessica Billard (25,322) et Lucie Armand (25,462).
The final phases take place after a one-hour lunch break, with 32 men and 7 women divided into groups of 4.
Let's note the minor fall of Ilya Sukhenko in the first bend during the 8th finals. Still he manages to catch up and qualifies for the next round.
In quarter finals, the competition gets harder and some of the leaders are knocked out: Kevin Quintin, Moritz Nörl and Regis Pottier to name but a few…
The phenomenon is on the rise when the competition hits the semi-finals. In the first group, Russian Ilya Sukhenko falls at the exit of the first bend and finishes 4th - it is the main surprise of the weekend. The two French, Flavien Du Peloux and Harry Perna qualify for the final. In the second semi-final group, Anthony Pottier qualifies in front of another French, Anthony Avella, at the expense of compatriot Stéphane Alfano and Dutch Jelle Briggeman.
The consolation final is won hands up by Russian Ilya Sukhenko in front of Stéphane Alfano.
The final gathers Belgian Anthony Pottier and 3 French: Flavien Du Peloux, Harry Perna and Anthony Avella.
At the exit of the first bend, the Belgian takes the lead, followed by Flavien Du Peloux and Harry Perna. At the end of the straight line, Anthony Pottier wins the final and a photo finish is needed in order to decide between Flavien Du Peloux and Harry Perna. Thanks to his kick of the foot, the latter gets the second place in front of Flavien Du Peloux and Anthony Avella.
Relive the competition with the video below, compiling the final phases of the competition. SOON
A new competition was launched with the Team Cross: two teams of two race against each other, and the team whose skater finishes last loses the run. Strategy is at the heart of that new contest.
In the end, the Darons Team, made of Anthony Avella and Kevin Quintin, won the Team Cross in front of the Pottier Team, with the two brothers Anthony and Régis.
A very positive conclusion for that first stage of the new season. Let's hope that the number of events on dirt tracks will increase. The next Skate Cross competition will take place in Rennes during the Rennes sue Roulettes event, on May 24th and 25th.
|3)||Du Peloux Flavien||FRA|
|9)||Santos Trigo Jonatan||ESP|