Padova Grand Prix

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Campionato del Mondo

Teolo, Italy

Teolo is a municpality in Parco Regionale Dei Colli Euganei, an enormous national park outside of Venice. The region is surrounded with wineries, and is a popular destination for the weekend bicyclist.

The course starts in Castelnuevo and ends in Teolo. But this year a portion of the track was washed away. The road was closed for several months as it was rebuilt. It was reopened just weeks before the race! A good majority of the road was repaved.

Thursday, August 4

Teolo is about a half hour or so from the train station in Padova. On the way we passed a couple of banners, including a huge sign on the back of a truck.

We got up to the top of the course in the afternoon. There was some problems with my hotel reservation, so I took some time to get registered.

They take registration very seriously, including photocopying our ID! We got a small grab bag of goodies, including some bearings and a tshirt. Apparently there was a mistake in the ordering, as the tshirts were women's tshirts!

Fortunately by the time I got through registration, my hotel reservation was squared away. After I got settled in and got my equipment together I went downstairs to hang out with everyone. A few people went through tech.

but it was mostly cold cuts and cheese. A few of us decided to eat dinner at the hotel. The hotel served up a delicious Italian meal.

Friday, August 5

We were supposed to start riding about 9:00AM. I noticed that tech was already going at 8:30.

At noon there was a two hour break for lunch and siesta. We sat down at the hotel for lunch,

The restaraunt offered a riders menu for fairly cheap. It was nice to relax for a bit, and enjoy lunch, without having to scarf some food down.

After lunch was over, we had a couple more hours of free rides.

or grab a drink before you were ready to head back down the hill.

The first round of qualifying start just after 2:00 with standup.

Tonight is the opening ceremony. It started with the torchlight parade from the top. We were given some glow sticks to carry.

It looks like everyone else was down, so I better get going before I missed the party.

We gathered behind our country flags before marching into the town square.

Once the speeches were over we were told that the free dinner was about ready to be served. I was starving, and it was late, so I high tailed it over to get into line.

After dinner, we hung around chatting. Once the roller show was over, several skateboarders and inliners took over the square working on tricks.

Saturday, August 6

The weather today is cloudy.

But we got in fewer runs than we did yesterday.

Just like yesterday there was a two hour lunch and siesta. I think a few people went into town for lunch. There are a few great restaraunts down there, but I was lazy and just ate at the hotel.

After lunch the IIDA ran the inline race.

We ran classic next, and then followed it up with street luge. I was one of the early ones down so I watched the remaining lugers from the bottom. Marcus and Luca commentated the qualifying runs. It was easy to do because they could watch the runs unfold on the jumbo tron.

There was a discussion all weekend on whether the new surface was faster or slower. A lot of people felt that the surface was actually more slippery and thus slower. But with the course about 20 meters longer than before and Mahdzan setting the course record, I think we could say the course is just as fast, if not faster.

We were running in reverse order from yesterday. And so far most everyone was beating yesterday's time. Mahdzan was the number siz qualifier from yesterday, so would each subsequent rider also break the record? Marcus did a great job of keeping the tension up, and making it sound exciting. Each rider came down, beating their previous time, but not beating Mahdzan. Echegaray came close. He was the first rider, after Mahdzan to break into the 1:57s but he ended up being less than a tenth of a second back!

Stephenson was the final rider to come down. He looked like he was doing good, but he looked a little shaky coming around the final turn.

The day was over. It was time to clean up and go to dinner. Free dinner was being served again at the square in town. But as usual the dinner was late, and so a few of us decided to get some pizza in town. On the way to pizza the skys decided to open up!

 

After dinner was served, it was decided to go ahead with the ceremony. The top qualifiers received a medal. I think that is the first time I've seen it, and it was pretty cool. Of course some people don't quite know how to deal with a podium. Stay up there long enough to get a few photos!

Sunday, August 7

Earlier in the week the weather forecast mentioned rain this weekend. I was hoping that all the rain came last night. It was a little foggy this morning, but it looked promising.

After the two hour lunch it was time to start the juniors

Smith was the hands down favorite to win the juniors, but he got tied up in some loose hay on the exit of a turn and went down. Standup started left. Inline and classic would start after a couple of rounds of standup. I watched the race on the big screen.

And then it rained. We would be starting classic soon, so I quickly changed my wheels. I didn't have any rain wheels, but any wheels are better than fresh wheels in the rain. As I was changing my wheels, someone asked me if I still wanted to race. I said sure, we race rain or shine, and I didn't feel the course was unsafe. In face I felt it was probably the safest course we had. If we couldn't race this course in the rain, what course could we race? After I finished changing my wheels, I heard my name being called. I thought I was being called to the line. So I grabbed my board and my helmet and rushed out to the line, only to find there was a meeting. Someone called for a vote to decide if we would race or not.

But if we can't race in the rain, then we can't free ride in it either.

Looks like my day is done, time to head to the bottom and enjoy the rest of the races.

The awards ceremony was going to take place almost immediately after the race. It took a few minutes for things to get set up, so Marcus did some improptu interviews.

to the winner's country's anthem.

Standup:

Switzer, Tongue, Garant-Rousseau

Women's Standup:

Neilson, Gemperle, Bougard

Junior I Standup:

Kalb

Junior II Standup:

Conan, Fouz Rey, Piton

Street luge:

Echegaray, Mahdzan, Stephenson

After the awards ceremony Norm Kinnish called Marcus up to the stage.

It was a nice way to thank Marcus for all the hard work he has done to create the IGSA and the World Cup race series.

Manby people were surprised that awards were not given to Classic. The organizers were disappointed that the classic lugers decided not to race. So the organizers decided to not give out trophies. They felt that since the race itself was not run, they also decided to withhold the prize money!

While the course is not the best course in the world, the event is a good event. Watching the race on the jumbo tron makes the event a better and more exciting event. There were no major accidents.