North & South America
The date is September 22, 2019. We are skating on the Champ de Mars, just behind the Eiffel Tower, before the big race. Mars translates to March in English ; in Paris the month of March is often filled with rainy days. Mars was the god of war in ancient Rome. And like this Roman god, the athletes in the 3rd Paris Roller Marathon will have to battle it out for the finish. A rainy day battle in the form of a skate race around the Eiffel Tower.
The Champ de Mars is a central place of Paris, home also to one of the most famous monuments of the world, the Eiffel Tower. Today this is the location where thousands of skaters are preparing for the 3rd Paris Rollers Marathon. The Trocadéro is also nearby: an epicenter of roller sports in the 90’s.
The Rollerblade® tent is open to welcome skaters to the venue. Some people visit to try our brand new skates, while others wait for an autograph from one of the Rollerblade® Speed Team athletes. The skies are grey, but sometimes the sun appears. Everyone is waiting for one of the most important events of the skate world in France.
A few minutes after, it is time for participants to start to warm-up for th race. Rollerlbade® Speed Team athletes Ewen Fernandez, Doucelin Pédicone, and Mike Paez are ready. They take a look at the two-lap circuit, which goes in the streets of Paris and in the Bois de Boulogne. This race is all about strategy because the race itself is not that long.
Right from the start, the Rollerblade® Speed Team athletes take the lead and try to break away from the crowd. And it works. The pace brings them speeding through the wide streets and between two blocks of Haussmannian buildings. Other teams try to attack, but Mike Paez and Doucelin Pédicone are in front of the peloton by over 12 seconds.
Ewen Fernandez, who won the 1st Paris Rollers Marathon, is carefully watched by some of the Colombian skaters – among them, the 2019 world champion Alex Cujavante – and some French young guns. It seems to be a perfect race scenario. Once on the long and straight lines of the Bois de Boulogne, the race is done.
Then, after 25 kilometers, a new component to the race appears… the rain! On the wet, slick grounds of the Parisian streets, inline skating is a completly different sport. Doucelin manages to keep his lead with Flavien Foucher close by as they speed along the streets. Behind these two racers, it is difficult for others to follow. Ewen is in the second group with Alex Cujavante. This group never manages to pull back in Doucelin, who is now almost literally swimming towards the finish line.
After 1 hour and 10 minutes of hard fight, Doucelin takes the gold under the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. On the Champ de Mars after a long fight in the rain, the Rollerblade® Speed Team athlete wins the battle.