Just imagine reaching 85/90 Km/h on a skateboard. And now imagine driving downhill for 2.7 km on that skateboard. Oh, and don’t forget to rely only on your body, no engines required to stir, stop or speed up. This is in few words the Verdicchio Race, the Longboard and Streetluge competition that takes place in Poggio Cupro, a hamlet near Cupramontana.
I had a chat with Roberto Marasca, a veteran in the Longboard competition, and one of the organizers of the Verdicchio Race.
First of all, as silly as it may be, I asked the difference between the longboard and the Streetluge (both of them alien words to me).
The longboard is what is closer to the skateboard, although the board is longer and heavier which doesn’t allow tricks. The rider is standing on the board and is usually wearing a leather suit, a helmet and reinforced soles under the shoes that allow him to brake. The maximum speed that can be reached with a longboard is 85 km/h. If the rider wants to turn or drift, he has to do a “slide”, hence, to let the board crossing the street and move the body accordingly.
The Streetluge is using a board where the rider is lying down, with the feet facing the street. The maximum speed can be up to 90 km/h, and the driver moves his body to stir or brake. Again, the suit is made of leather and the soles of the shoes are reinforced with, and this impressed me a lot, the same material used for the tyres!
These two sports are well-known worldwide, and everywhere in the world there are championships and dedicated training roads. In Switzerland there are even roads that are closed to the public on certain periods, in order to let the riders train.
But what made Roberto and his fellow organisers, Federico Barboni and Matteo Fioretti choose Le Marche? They are “marchigiani”, and they know very well that the hillside of our landscape can be very appealing for champions coming from all over the places. During the Verdicchio Race, indeed, there are representatives coming from the Netherlands, Germany, USA, Russia, Egypt, Brazil and even a remote village in Greenland.
The Verdicchio Race has a interesting history: it all started in 2011 when the European Championship took place in Castelplanio. At that time this kind of sport was very new for the locals and it took a while before it could gain the right fame. In 2013 the meeting moved to Poggio Cupro, and this year (2019) it strikes its 5th edition and it won’t stop!
The organizers’ dream is to make the hairpins of Le Marche even more famous and reachable on a local scale. A regional competition on different spots could make our hills the real protagonists of this sport! Roberto, Federico and Matteo are working really hard to make the competition solid and recurrent: it doesn’t only impact on the worldwide fame of our hills, but also on the local economy…don’t forget that the name “Verdicchio” has now become a real brand associated with Poggio Cupro.
And you know, riders can be really thirsty after having reached 75 km/h, driven 2.7 km, passed the most difficult hairpin (Curva Campari) …and a bottle of Verdicchio is just the perfect solution!
If you are nearby from July, 10th to July, 13th do not miss the chance to have a chat with these crazy…ehm, passionate riders from all over the world.
Check the programme here: Verdicchio Race 2019