It was a bluebird day with golden sunshine flooding the mid-mountain today as the 2010 Subaru Velocity Challenge racers competed in the semi-finals and first FIS World Cup race at Sun Peaks Resort.
Italy came out on top for today’s FIS World Cup race with brothers Ivan and Simone Origone taking first and second place respectively. Ivan, the younger Origone, clocked in at 165.46 km/h while older brother and current speed skiing world cup holder Simone not far behind at 165.16 km/h. Bastien Montes of France is in third place with 165.06 km/h.
“He’s happy and loves this track very much,” said Simone, translating for his brother Ivan on what he felt after winning the race.
In the Women’s Speed 1 Division, Karine Dubouchet-Revol of France ruled the roost with a speed of 159.21 km/h. Elena Banfo of Italy came in second place registering 159.11 km/h on the speed gun and Linda Baginski of Sweden in third place with 159.04 km/h.
For the Men’s Downhill category, the Austrians came out in full force taking the first and third place. Gunther Foidl was the fastest racer in his category with 156.24 km/h. Second place went to Michel Guomoens of Switzerland at 154.35 km/h. Third place went to another Austrian, Markus Munzer with 153.54 km/h.
So what does it take to excel in a competition like this?
There are only a few women who have chosen speed skiing as a niche, and Dubouchet-Revol is one of the strongest female racers out there.
Dubouchet-Revol attributes her success to three things: experience, training and mental acuity.
Having family around when you’re in a very competitive environment also keeps frayed nerves at bay. The Origone brothers from Italy, the Montes brothers from France and the Cleaver brothers from Sun Peaks are an excellent example of brotherhood in action. The brothers travel together to race in speed skiing competitions around the globe.
Although they’re related by blood, the Italian brothers nevertheless keep each other on their toes as elite athletes.
“If he’s first and I am second, I’m happy for him but I would like to be first,” said Simone. “And it’s the same for him, because we’re here to do our best.”
“We started speed skiing because we were both good in downhill and just near where we live is where speed skiing was born,” he added.
Ivan says he looks up to his older brother Simone as a role model in speed skiing.
“I think it’s good for motivation. We do all the races together,” said Jimmy Montes. Jimmy competes in the downhill category while older brother Bastien is in the Speed 1 category.
“I wanted him to race in my category, it’s faster but he still wants to try the other one,” said Bastien. “He wants to be more powerful (before racing in Speed 1).”
About doing competitions together, Bastien said it definitely makes the races more enjoyable because they’re there for each other whenever one of them needs a hand.
For Blade and Cruize Cleaver, the race is a friendly one-upmanship between the two. “He’s now my biggest competition here. We’re almost the same speed; almost a kilometre off for every run,” said Sun Peaks’ Cruize Cleaver. At 16, he’s the youngest racer in the competition. “It feels pretty cool; not really intimidated,” he said.
“No crash going on, very strong and stable, that’s what counts,” said proud father John Cleaver.
Two more races are set for Saturday and Sunday. The second FIS World Cup is tomorrow and the official Subaru Velocity Challenge is set for Sunday.
For the official results, visit www.velocitychallenge.com.
Follow us on Twitter: @subaruvelocity
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