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Teenage star tackles Eau Rouge on a skateboard

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F1 Mole | 10:21 UK time, Saturday, 29 August 2009

There are just two words needed to sum up the magic of Belgium's Spa-Francorchamps circuit - Eau Rouge.

The left-right-left combination sweeps down from La Source and then steeply uphill to a blind summit which Michael Schumacher describes as "seeing a big mountain in front of you".

But just how steep is that famous slope? The BBC TV team and Red Bull put their heads together and came up with a unique solution - plonk a teenage skateboarding star on the crest of the hill and watch him fly back down.

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The call was put in to European champion Axel Cruysberghs, who handily happens to be Belgian, and the 14-year-old warily took up the challenge.

"I don't know about the cars but it is very steep," said Cruysberghs. "Maybe I'll go fast down there because it's so long. This could be the fastest I've ever been on a skateboard."

Cruysberghs pondered all this while nursing a broken right wrist in his lap. Um, was he a little worried?

"I don't know. We'll see. It's something crazy."

Once the track was cleared of traffic in the fading early evening light, Cruysberghs set off up the slope with a final pep talk from Jake Humphrey.

The 14-year-old turned up to look at him; "It's pretty steep, no?" The TV presenter's advice? "Don't look down."

Wearing a backwards chequered baseball cap and skinny black jeans, the European champion loomed over the summit and took the plunge.

He dipped his right foot to the famous tarmac to brake, using his left to steer and balance the board as he zig-zagged back down to the mouth of Eau Rouge.

Cruysberghs was unfazed, murmuring a brief "Ohh, uhh" as he reached the bottom with a top-speed of 26mph. In his first run, he covered a marked out 15-metre stretch of incline in 1.47seconds.

So after setting a Formula 1 first by becoming the first person to skate down the famous Eau Rouge does he fancy cutting short his fledging skating career for a more lucrative move to F1?

"No, it's too fast."

Comments

  • 1. At 11:03am on 29 Aug 2009, facemandave wrote:

    Looks interesting. Will keep an eye out for that later.

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  • 2. At 11:17am on 29 Aug 2009, squirrelscorner wrote:

    Was he on soft or hard tyres? ;0)

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  • 3. At 2:18pm on 29 Aug 2009, mrgee23 wrote:

    believe it or not i was thinking just yesterday ow great it would be to skate the hills of spa.. really big wide smooth roads..
    i have a downhill skate board, with big soft green slick wheels..
    can you fix it for me to skate the hills of spa..
    pleeeeeeeease...

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  • 4. At 3:15pm on 29 Aug 2009, Jupiter wrote:

    No way is that kid 14, he looked about 8.

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  • 5. At 3:36pm on 29 Aug 2009, cordas wrote:

    Looked like hard tyres to me, interesting and different piece, but kids and adults don't mix well....

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  • 6. At 5:03pm on 29 Aug 2009, igamogam wrote:

    Concerning the mix of adults and children, isn't motorsports just big kids playing with big toys. :-)
    I mean this lad skates professionally - no mean feat. Now I'd like to see Jenson Button do something impressive with and F1 car and a half-pipe...

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  • 7. At 8:17pm on 29 Aug 2009, sassy-sez wrote:

    Jake, I can't believe that you gave up walking up that hill although I'll cut you some slack as you're ill. How on earth was that kid 14? If he makes double figures I'll be shocked.

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  • 8. At 8:40pm on 29 Aug 2009, thefrogstar wrote:

    I'm reporting the BBC to the British and Belgian child-protection agencies.

    If a 13 year old Dutch girl isn't allowed to sail around the world on her own, then there is no way a 14 year old Belgian boy should be allowed to skateboard down the steepest part of a Grand-Prix circuit.

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  • 9. At 9:28pm on 29 Aug 2009, rocketcar9 wrote:

    I can't help feel that you stole this idea of ITV who did it for the steep banks of indionapolis a few years back, but i guess it was because the kid was around to do it, but i would have liked to see maybe dc and ej have a race on skateboards down it. Saying that was better than mark blundel when he did it!

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