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IDF: Zak Maytum wins Pikes Peak

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This weekend in Colorado a downhill skateboarding race was held on Pikes Peak for the first time. Eighty-four racers registered for this IDF sanctioned two-day event which consisted of one day of practice and qualifying and the next day the race. The course was 1.5 miles long with sweeping turns and at least six major corners on a steep grade. The peak is over 14,000 feet, but the race course starts at over 11,000 feet. So, in addition to the highly technical high speed course, racers had to deal with the lack of oxygen at that elevation.

It was a race of epic proportions.


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The course started where the white tent and green roof can be seen in the bottom left part of this picture.

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Local Colorado riders scope the view at the top of the peak. It was a must to see the view from the top at over 14,000 feet. It is the most popular summit to view in North America.

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There’s a $500 fine for skating Pike’s Peak. If you want to ride it, I’d plan on attending this race next year.

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I made it.

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Bigfoot is real.

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Shuttle Buses.

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Though the top speed wasn’t 65 mph as was rumored, the course was still fast and furious. Speaking of which, the new Fast and Furious was being filmed on the mountain. We shared some space in the parking lot at the top of the course.

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They had something like eight stunt cars to drive around for the film.

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Zion Miller lurks in the shot as riders grab their transponders for qualifying.

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Connor Welles leads the rider’s meeting.

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Before any riding started, I got to hang out with OG downhill skater and friend Rob McKendry, owner of Park Hill Skates in Park Hill, CO. He was the commentator for the event on race day.

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Riders take off from the top.

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The Swedes take a run.

After a few practice runs in the morning, qualifying commenced in the afternoon. Local Calvin Staub was the top qualifier with AJ Haiby and Zak Maytum close behind.

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More qualifying times on the IDF website.

The next day was the race. The top 62 qualifiers were set in the brackets. Those who didn’t make the the list got to race a repechage race and the top two finishers would move on to the final 64.

During the finals of the repechage race in the first corner, Michael Harrington scorpioned into the bails and Justin Dubois drifted to the inside of the road and tumbled on his back as his board tumbled straight for me. I just barely jumped out of the way and avoided getting smacked by Dubois’ board. Dubois ran downhill, grabbed Harrington’s board and finished second to go on to the round of 64 racers. Here is the blurry sequence.

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Michael Harrington sits up after taking a fall that looked like a broken neck. What a beast!

Racing began soon after that carnage.

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Pat Schep and a bunch of knocked out racers wait to watch the semifinals from on top of a crane, installed for the making of Fast and Furious 27.

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Louis Pilloni led this semi-final heat into the final left corner.

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Byron Essert made the pass on Louis and Billy Bones on the final righty and advanced to the finals along with Zak Maytum.

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Some kids check out some Skate[Slate] magazines I gave out.

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Billy led the consolation finals while Kyle Wester, Louis Pilloni, and Jacko drifted close in the corner.

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Final heat: Calvin got pushed out wide after Jimmy Riha carved wide in preparation for the corner.

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Unfortunately, people got excited for the finals and got in front of my lens.

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When it was all said and done, Zak Maytum won and took home $2500 for it.

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Zak Maytum revels in his victory on the shuttle back to the top. Skate[Slate] photographer Max Dubler is behind him and equally stoked.

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Kids were buying scrubbed wheels from racers after the race.

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The Laguna groms swept the podium for the juniors class.

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Final places:

1st Zak Maytum
2nd Jimmy Riha
3rd Byron Essert
4th Calvin Staub

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  1. Skate School

    Nice article and photos Jon! In the interest of historical accuracy EDI did indeed run a DH Race here in 2001, Rob MecKendry and Joe Lehm were the only 2 racers from back then that attended this years race.


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