Red Bull Monserrate and Valparaíso Cerro Abajo: Details

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When it comes to mountain bike racing, few disciplines are as spectacular as urban downhill. The races see competitors rolling with speed on a steep course set in a town or city-based mountain environment. There is a lot to do. You’ll see runners descending stairs, navigating narrow alleyways, jumping over huge man-made jumps, going over rooftops and buses, and in some cases, passing through buildings!

The most famous races are Red Bull Monserrate Cerro Abajo in Bogotá, the Colombian capital, and Red Bull Valparaíso Cerro Abajo in Valparaíso, Chile. The 2022 editions of these races take place in February, and you can watch the races in full on Red Bull TV. Read all the details on the live streams, what the courses look like and who will be riding below.

01

How can I watch the races?

The high octane races of Red Bull Monserrate Cerro Abajo and Red Bull Valparaíso Cerro Abajo will be broadcast live on Red Bull TV on their respective dates. The Red Bull Monserrate Cerro Abajo will take place on Saturday February 5, while the Red Bull Valparaíso Cerro Abajo is scheduled to take place on Sunday February 27.

Note that confirmation of the Valparaíso race has yet to be confirmed by authorities pending approval under Covid restrictions.

Red Bull Monserrate Cerro Abajo – February 5

Watch the full stroke from 14:50 UTC. You can also watch the race with commentary in Spanish here.

Red Bull Valparaíso Cerro Abajo – February 27

Live broadcast times for Red Bull TV coverage of the race will appear here once the race is confirmed.

02

Where exactly do the races take place?

The Red Bull Monserrate Cerro Abajo takes place in the streets of Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, located at an altitude of 2,600 m. Above rises an imposing mountain – Monserrate. The mountain is accessible by a footpath, from which part of the mountain bikers must descend until the finish.

The port city of Valparaíso, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the location of Red Bull Valparaíso Cerro Abajo. The Chilean city was an important trading and shipping hub in the 19th century and many of the colorful houses and buildings that stand on the hills were built during colonial times. The hillside barrios are connected by a maze of narrow lanes.

Bogota looms in the distance

© Jan Kasl/Red Bull Content Pool

A competitor in the 2019 Red Bull Valparaiso Cerro Abajo runs through a rooftop in Valparaiso, Chile.

Valparaíso is breathtaking from above

© Fabio Piva/Red Bull Content Pool

03

How are the lessons?

Urban downhill courses in South America share a few defining characteristics. They are steep, have long sections of stairs, and feature fast straights as well as sharp turns in incredibly narrow streets. To help increase speed, the courses also feature man-made obstacles such as wooden ramps and wallrides.

A Red Bull Valparaiso Cerro Abajo rider jumps over artificial ramps in Valparaiso, Chile.

Man-made features are an important part of a South American urban DH course

© Alfred Jürgen Westermeyer/Red Bull Content Pool

The Monserrate track is 2.4 km long, making it the longest of any urban downhill circuit in the world. It is heavy and consists of 27 obstacles. Highlights of the course include the jumps at La Iglesia and La Estrella, a passage through a tunnel, a 7m high jump at La Cascada and the air gap over the turnstiles at the foot of the mountain.

A drone photograph provides a bird's eye view of the top half of the Red Bull Monserrate Cerro Abajo course.

The upper half of the Monserrate trail from above

© Kevin Molano/Red Bull Content Pool

The Red Bull Valparaíso Cerro Abajo course is approximately 2 km long. It descends from a starting point on the hill before passing Bismarck Square and Atahualpa Street towards the Fountain of Neptune in Plaza Aníbal Pinto in the city center. In the past, runners had to climb onto the roof of a house along the famous Boccaccio stairs.

Finish area of ​​the Red Bull Valparaiso Cerro Abajo course in Valparaiso, Chile.

The finish area of ​​the Valparaíso Urban Downhill Race

© Alfred Jürgen Westermeyer/Red Bull Content Pool

04

Just like the World Cup, there are practices and qualifications before the finals

As with any other downhill mountain bike race, there is a small amount of practice allowed on the course as the trails will take some getting used to. This is followed by a qualifying race so the numbers can be whittled down to a manageable number for the final. There is only one race, with the fastest time being declared the winner.

05

Who runs in Monserrate and Valparaíso?

These races taking place in the Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup off-season, they’ve usually attracted a few of those racing talents. Macdonald’s Creek, Jackson Goldstone, Bernard Kerr and Wyn Masters are only three to have tried. However, the pandemic has made global travel a little more complicated, so these races will primarily feature South American riders and specialist urban downhill riders.
Brage Vestavik battles a stair section during the Red Bull Valparaiso Cerro Abajo 2019 race in Valparaiso, Chile on February 10, 2019.

MTB freerider Brage Vestavik is someone who likes to get into these races

© Fabio Piva/Red Bull Content Pool

Jackson Goldstone runs through a shipping container during the Red Bull Valparaiso Cerro Abajo 2019 race in Valparaiso, Chile on February 10, 2019.

Jackson Goldstone shows you’re never too young to race urban downhill

© Jean-Louis de Heeckeren/Red Bull Content Pool

A peloton of 25 will take part in the races in Bogota and Valparaíso. Experienced riders for both enduro riders Pedro Burns from Chile. Also expect to see Chilean drivers Pedro Ferraira, Felipe Agurto and Matias Nunez at both races. Urban downhill specialist and double winner of Valparaíso Tomas Slavik from the Czech Republic will only be at the Valparaíso event.
Runners who balance endurance and skill while being brave on the course are those who will be rewarded with podiums.
Pedro Burns drops one wooden ramp to another at Red Bull Monserrate Cerro Abajo 2021 in Bogota, Colombia on February 6, 2021

Pedro Burns passes over Bogotá during the 2021 Monserrate Cerro Abajo race

© Kevin Molano/Red Bull Content Pool

Who won the last time the races were held?

Red Bull Monserrate Cerro Abajo, in its current incarnation, has been racing since 2019. Previous winners are Colombian Matthias Gutierrez (2019), Tomáš Slavík (2020) and Frenchman Adrien Loren (2021). Loron won with a time of 4:31.485. Watch Loren’s race below:

Adrien Loron’s winning journey

Red Bull Valparaíso Cerro Abajo was last raced in 2019 when Pedro Ferreira claimed victory. Slavík has already won two editions of the race in 2017 and 2018. Watch Ferreira’s race from 2019 below:

Winning race – Red Bull Valparaiso Cerro Abajo 2019

Be sure to download the free Red Bull TV app and catch the urban descent action on all your devices! Get the app here.
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