In a normally quiet river valley just outside Moscow, more than 50 lorries speed, crash and slide their way every year around a cross-country track, pitted with obstacles.
LV Truck racing around circuit
SV Two trucks driving through water while crowds watch and other trucks follow
SV PAN Truck through woodland and up hill
SV PAN FROM Truck ascending hill TO Broken down truck on roadside
GV PAN Trucks racing over fields
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Background: In a normally quiet river valley just outside Moscow, more than 50 lorries speed, crash and slide their way every year around a cross-country track, pitted with obstacles.
The venue is Kryukovo, where every autumn professional lorry drivers from throughout the Soviet Union gather for the Moscow city championships of one of the most peculiar races in the world.
This year 52 lorries -- production models except for their huge balloon-like tyres -- took part in the race. Steady rain throughout the previous day had turned the field of the state farms into a knee-deep sea of mud.
But the weather was the last thing to deter the 10,000 spectators who turned out for the race. They all usually have a favourite driver who they try to help by shouting out the best way to negotiate the next slope ... to avoid ploughing into the knot of lorries in the valley.
The drivers have to race the 10 kilometre (6 miles) track ten times. Only 24 of the lorries actually made it to the end. A Moscow driver, Vladimir Kuznetsov, was this autumn's winner.
The course wound through potato fields, pea plantations, and open pasture. The havoc wrought by sliding and skidding seven-tonners was considerable by the end of the day.
The main point to the race is to attract professional drivers to take part in sport and to raise their professional level of competence.
The Soviets are encouraging the rest of the world to compete. They have said they would welcome foreign drivers to join in the racing.
SYNOPSIS: Every autumn this usually quiet river valley near Moscow comes to life. It is for one of the world's most peculiar competitions ... cross-country lorry racing.
This is Kryukovo, where in autumn professional lorry drivers from throughout the Soviet Union arrive for the Moscow city championships. Fifty-two lorries took part in this year's competition, their drivers pitting nerves and skill in the cross-country tracking. Such obstacles as the water bunker wiped more than half the drivers out of the race.
More than ten thousand spectators turned out to cheer on their favourite drivers -- calling out quick ways through the swamp-like mud. Apart from the garish colours and huge balloon-like tyres, the lorries are all production models.
The aim of the national competition is to five truck drivers a chance to enter into sport ... virtually on the job. Usually these trucks are more at home cruising along Soviet highways than racing through the state's potato crops.