First South American Inline Cup Race Draws a Crowd
1000 skaters, 40,000 Spectators Reportedly Attend Inaugural Event
The organizers of the newly created South American Inline Cup must be celebrating today.
Their first-ever event, yesterday's Buenos Aires on Skates, was an apparent success.
According to the Patin Carrera web site, 1000 skaters competed in the event with 40,000 spectators cheering them on as they circled the 2 kilometer Rosedal de Palermo road course.
Only a handful of the top World Cup skaters flew in for the off-season event. But nonetheless, the level of competition appeared to be high.
Colombia's Julian Rivera won the 42 K marathon in a time of one hour, 3 minutes and 14 seconds. His countryman Jorge Luis Cifuentes finished second.
The race reportedly came down to a sprint between Rivera, Cifuentes and reigning World Cup champion Massimiliano Presti, who finished third.
Presti was one of the few World Cup males to compete in the race.
Rivera and Cifuentes are world-class skaters but not World Cup team members. They finished second and third (respectively) behind USA's Joey Mantia in the marathon at last summer's World Speed Skating Championships in China.
Bonnet Comes Out Racing
Argentina's Melisa Bonnet won the women's race (time: 1:16:27) and perhaps some vindication after her ouster from the World Championships.
She was excluded from the final day of the championships and therefore could not compete in the marathon after punching a Chilean woman skater after the 10,000-meter elimination race.
Finishing second and third in the women's race were two more Argentineans: Natalia Artero and Andrea Haritchelhar, a member of the Athleticum Rollerblade team.
World Cup skater Andrea Gonzalez (KIA) finished seventh.
(posted on Dec. 6, 2005)
Go to Patin Carrera report (in Spanish)
Copyright © 2005 by Robert Burnson
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