Today saw the running of an event in its 2nd decade of running in Valparaíso, Chile. With a few big names from around the world including Brook Macdonald fresh on his MS Mondraker deal, Tomas Slavik who has previously dominated the event, Bernard Kerr, Australia’s David Macmillan and event first-timer from NZ Matt Walker, alongside a big lineup of locals and other riders.
The course was typically tough, with lots of opportunities to crash and some sections even lined with barbed wire for the unwary!

Competitors wait for the run at the top of the course.
Brook Macdonald and Matt Walker
A competitor rolls across a roof, just another race here in Valparaíso.
Bernard Kerr on course, the Pivot Factory Racing downhill specialist’s 2nd time here.
A competitor exits this jump through a house corridor
Railing a wallride
Bernard Kerr sending this jump out of a house
Marcelo Gutierrez, the Colombian powerhouse putting out a solid time that set the time to beat for the rest of the top-10.
Matt Walker, boosting high onto the bus halfway down the course, on his way to the fastest race time when he crossed the line.

But in the end, it was Tomas Slavik showing his dominance of the event into first place with Matt Walker still taking an admirable 2nd place at his first race.

Winner Tomas Slavik down the stairs
Thomas Slavik, Matt Walker and Matias Nunes celebrate on the podium

1st place – Tomas Slavik
2nd place – Matt Walker
3rd Place – Matias Nunes

We asked Matt a few questions about the leadup and the race…

GDU: You were at the event for the first time, what did you focus on in the leadup?

Matt: Yeah, first time here and loved it! Well, I didn’t actually have enough time to prepare for it as I only decided to come a few days before the event haha! Long story short is that my car got crashed into not long ago so I got paid from insurance to get a new car, instead of getting a new car I decided to pay for flights here as it is an event I’ve always wanted to do!

GDU: How was the atmosphere in and around the event?  

Matt: The atmosphere here was amazing! One of the best races I’ve ever been to, so stoked to have come here and I hope to be back for sure!

GDU: That course looked like a real challenge, with lots of big air and gaps, a barbed wire-lined stair section and a flat out pedal finish. How did it feel crossing the line after all that in a podium position?

Yeah. When I walked the track I was like holy f**k. This is crazy. What have I done… but, after riding it you start to feel more comfortable and start to go fast it gets scary as hell again! Was massive relief to cross the finish line in one piece and when at the time was fastest I was over the moon because it means I could buy a car when I get home!! Unreal trip and was very YOLO. I’ll only have 4 days and maybe 10 hours sleep in Chile but I wouldn’t change it for anything! So stoked!

For a full replay you can hit the link below thanks to RedbullTV:

Pictures credit Red Bull