It must have been a frustrating autumn for Rémy Métailler with visa issues preventing him from competing in the Red Bull Rampage, and that must have made this past weekend’s win at the annual Taxco Urban Downhill in Mexico all the sweeter. Not to mention the fact that last year, on the last jump of the same race, he broke a vertebra by over rotating a backflip and sitting on his back wheel (video from him here, and while there’s no gore, as with most big crashes of a fellow mountain biker, it’s not happy viewing).
Before we look at Rémy’s winning run though, it’s worth checking out Sam Pilgrim’s race first. Sam must have decided that he just has too much focus, so narrates the run, and also starts doing tricks to wow the crowd. His run wasn’t one of the faster ones, but it is a spectacular one and gives a pretty good idea of the scale of the course. Heads up if you’re squeamish: the camera is so small that a bit after the race run is shot from inside Sam’s mouth. Now that’s creative film-making!
(Can’t see it? Try this link).
There are a few technical bits where Sam appears to have an edge over Rémy, but can’t match him for sheer flat out speed. Rémy Métailler is mind-bogglingly fast:
(No video? Here’s a link, and (edit), you can see the whole mouth shot in all it’s grossness here on Sam’s Instagram).
The Taxco Urban Downhill is a yearly race in the town of, you guessed it, Taxco, about a three hour drive from Mexico City. Taxco is on a set of steep hills, surrounded by woods and with buildings clinging to the hillsides like barnacles (take a look on Google streetview, that thing that looks like it might be a hill in satellite photos is a wall of earth and trees from the ground). Inbetween them are lots of extremely steep cobbled alleys, sets of stairs and occasional big drops. Once a year it all gets kitted out with woodwork and dirt ramps, landings and wall rides; and residents stand on their doorsteps to watch the worlds elite downhill racers whizz by just inches from their faces.