On a weekend when Medellín played host to its first ever Red Bull Cerro Abajo urban downhill race it was apt that a Colombian athlete from the city took the honours at Red Bull Medellín Cerro Abajo in the second of three stops in the new racing series.
Juanfer Vélez took the win, posting a time of 1m 25.039s. His time was, incredibly, nearly two seconds faster than second placed athlete and fellow Colombian, Sebastian Holguín. Brazil's Lucas Borba slotted into third place with his time. Vélez was the last man down the course having posted the fastest qualifying time and was the overwhelming favourite going into the finals due to that quali performance.
Watch Vélez's run to victory in the video below and scroll on down to see the runs of Holguín and Borba.
Juan Fernando Vélez takes the win on home soil! This is the 19-year-old's first Red Bull Cerro Abajo win.
Set in the once notorious Comuna 13 district, a part of Medellín that used to be known for its criminality, but is now a thriving area of transformation, this Medellín course was short and sweet compared to the Chilean race at just 1.6km.
The heavily stair-based course was undoubtedly more technical in nature. The top of the route featured tight turns at the top, a long sweeping pedalling section in the middle, then a fast staircase section heading into the finish.
The race would ultimately be decided on those last set of stairs. Time could be made up if they were attacked at the right speed. This proved to be the case. Vélez and Holguín matched each others' times before that section, but then Vélez produced something magical.
Top 3 runs
Check out the top three runs from Red Bull Medellín Cerro Abajo 2023 to see what it takes to make the podium.
Vélez was understandably emotional in the finishing area, with family and friends sharing his joy of winning in his home city.
"It's incredible to win my home race," he said. "This is what I've been training for. I'm overwhelmed by it all. I don't know where I found the time on the track. I just went as fast as I could and gave everything."
Vélez heads the running in the race for the Cerro Abajo overall series title on account of his win in Medellín and a second place at Valparaíso. He currently has a points total of 119. Slavík sits in second place on the overall with 77 points. Vélez has a 42 point lead over the Czech rider. The Brazilian Borba is currently third with 70 points.
Going into Guanajuato only these three have a chance of winning the first even Red Bull Cerro Abajo title. That race takes place on March 25. You can watch the title decider, live on Red Bull TV, from 11pm UTC.