Mischo Wins Newton’s
Round two of the 2012 IGSA World Cup season was held April 27-29 at the famous Mount Panorama motor-racing circuit in Bathurst, Australia. It was the fourth time a World Cup race has been held on the legendary track as part of the Newton’s Nation action sports and music festival. The organizers put up a $20,000 purse, making Newton’s the richest downhill race in history.In addition, they set up a live-stream broadcast on YouTube, enabling downhill racing enthusiasts around the world the opportunity to watch all three days of the action. With so much money on the line and the opportunity to perform on desktops and mobile phones around the world, nearly every top downhill skater on the planet opted to make the trip Down Under.After a morning of practice on Friday, timed qualifying runs were held in the afternoon. Christoph Batt earned the No. 1 spot, followed by Mischo Erban in second, Louis Pilloni in third, Torbjørn Sunde in fourth and Patrick Switzer in fifth. The qualifying times were used to seed the skaters into a pair of qualifying races on Saturday to determine their final starting positions.
Saturday’s qualifying races were hot and heavy. In the end, the qualifying race final was contested between Batt, Erban, James Kelly and Douglas Silva. At the start, Silva jumped into the lead, while Erban was fourth off the line. In textbook fashion, Erban used the draft to perfection, picking off each of his rivals to earn the pole. Batt finished second, followed by Kelly and Silva at the line. It was an incredible race that foreshadowed Sunday final.
Sunday was sunny, hot and perfect for racing. There were many surprises throughout the day, with the biggest coming in the quarterfinals when Switzer, Erban, Alex Tongue and Duke Degen lined up against each other. Switzer decided to hang back at the start and pushed off gently. The other three riders took off, leaving Switzer to play catch-up. He never was able to catch them and was eliminated.
After a hard day of racing, it came down to the semifinals. The first semi was between Erban, Tongue, Silva and Pilloni. Silva won, with Erban finishing second – the only time Erban finished second all day. In the second semi it was Kelly, Mikael Jensen, Dillon Stephens and Friday’s top qualifier, Batt. After starting out slowly, Batt tried to run down the leaders but came up short. Kelly and Stephens advanced to the finals.
The final lined up with Kelly, Stephens, Silva and Erban. Skating strong and confidently, Erban picked his way through the pack, again coming from last place at the start. He passed Kelly and Stephens entering Forrest’s Elbow and ran down Silva on the Con-Rod straight to earn his first World Cup victory of the season. Silva was second, Stephens third and Kelly fourth. It was the eighth World Cup win of Erban’s illustrious career, which places him firmly at the top of the IGSA’s all-time World Cup victory list.
NEWTON’S NATION TOP 10 FINAL RESULTS
1. Mischo Erban, Canada
2. Douglas Silva, Brazil
3. Dillon Stephens, Canada
4. James Kelly, United States
5. Alex Tongue, United States
6. Christoph Batt, Switzerland
7. Louis Pilloni, United States
8. Mikael Jensen, Norway
9. Torbjørn Sunde, Norway
10. Rob McWhinnie, Australia