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UCI launches official 2012 European Series in cooperation with iXS

16:24 17th October 2011 by Billy Thackray
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Hot news just in. UCI launches official 2012 European Series in cooperation with iXS.

Good news for UK riders, seven dates are announced including a round in the at Innerleithen.

Will this have an impact on the proposed DH1 series?

The iXS Downhill Cup organisation has been working very closely with the UCI for several years now. This cooperation has now been strengthened even further with the iXS European Downhill Cup recognised as the official UCI European Series.

A number of UCI decisions have received a lot of coverage from a wide range of media recently and there has been much discussion about the sport’s future. Even if the reasons behind developments are not 100 percent clear to laymen, it should be emphasised that the International Cycling Union has done a lot for the Downhill discipline in recent years. There has been a World Cup series for two decades now and its value is priceless, despite some ups and downs. Without a doubt, not everything is perfect but the success story can only be continued through a constructive partnership.

And that’s exactly what the iXS Downhill Series organisation is trying to capitalize on by continuously expanding the cooperation. It is, furthermore, taking advantage of the opportunity to provide the UCI with important grass-roots input – in other words from competitors, teams and, of course, the individual venues – based on the experience gained from putting on up to 20 races a year in order to reach a general consensus.

In this context an important step for the future was gaining official UCI European Series status for the iXS European Downhill Cup. In the final analysis the UCI is gaining a partner who has been actively involved in the sport for 10 years and has generated unbroken success for the Downhill discipline not only at national level in Switzerland and Germany but also at continental level.

Peter van den Abeele, Off-Road Disciplines Manager, says in this regard: “We are pleased to have such a reliable partner who has been working for many years to continuously improve race events in accordance with UCI wishes and is further developing mass audience awareness of the sport through targeted PR work.”

Andreas Stöckli, event manager at iXS Sports Division, is also very positive about the close partnership: “Recognition of our Cup as the official UCI Europe Series confirms the significance we’ve developed together with our race organisers over the last four years. The goal was to create a prestigious series located between the World Cup and the national race series to thus provide athletes with an easier but nevertheless professional means of entering the world elite.”

Next year the iXS European Downhill Cup will be held in seven different countries, taking place at top level venues offering the relevant country’s most challenging courses. 2011 saw a high media profile being achieved, for example the five half-hour reports broadcast by Red Bull’s in-house TV channel Servus TV.

Last season saw 2 570 competitors from 41 countries at the starting lines of the various iXS Downhill Series. In this context the European Cup is focusing more strongly on top world professionals, as confirmed by the participation of major teams. Among others, many names from UCI elite teams appeared on the start lists, including world rank Top 20 riders such as Troy Brosnan (AUS), Brook MacDonald (NZL), Cameron Cole (NZL), Markus Pekoll (AUT), Brendan Fairclough (GBR) and Florent Payet (FRA). In order to further increase attractiveness for top class international riders there are plans to raise the media profile even more and to adjust the rules to reflect top athletes’ needs more.

All additional information is available at www.ixsdownhillcup.com, which this season has, to date, been accessed 274 095 times by 93 498 unambiguous visitors.

iXS 2012 European Downhill Cup dates:

#1 28.-29.04.2012 Rivera – Monte Tamaro (SUI)
#2 26.-27.05.2012 Leogang (AUT)
#3 16.-17.06.2012 Innerleithen (GBR)
#4 04.-05.08.2012 Pila (ITA)
#5 11.-12.08.2012 Špičák (CZE)
#6 08.-09.09.2012 Châtel (FRA)
#7 22.-23.09.2012 Todtnau (GER)

  1. teamrumours

    UCI is grasping at straws now to hold on to any shred of credibility.
    Rockyroads for the win.

  2. DTM

    While I have a lot of respect for the IXS series the tone of this press release sickens me. The UCI are desperately trying to save face here and are using the IXS cup as a crutch. This move has show the UCI’s true colours and they are not pretty.

  3. Big Bird

    Yet another slap in the face for Freecaster and DH1.

  4. og-de-norcal

    Pffft. Whether they are “recognized” by the UCI or not, my eyes will be on Freecaster/DH1.

  5. Mark

    Sorry folks – could someone just remind why the UCI are supposed to have messed up Downhill? I have been quite enjoying the racing, the venues and the televised coverage organised by the UCI(Freecaster bring cameras and plug in to the infrastructure organised by the UCI). Obviously another good level European DH series must be bad news judging from the comments above, what with racing opportunities for up and coming riders, good riders on a budget who can’t travel to WCs etc, but I am too stupid to understand why. Please do explain it to me.

  6. CK

    You fellas are retards, it’s not the UCI who wanted the iXS Euro series to be recognised as the UCI European cup. It’s the otherway around, It’s the iXS group trying to protect their place in the european race scene as the number one series in face of increasing competition from various National series including the soon to be DH1/Nissan euro Cup. The iXS guys where at the UCI offices all day last Friday for meetings working out this deal. I can assure you the iXS organisers came to see the UCI not the other way around.

  7. matteo

    @CK: in fact we all should say: ‘IXS launches official 2012 European Series in cooperation with UCI’ lol

  8. maik

    Wut the? There is three series to follow now? I aint complaining!

  9. marki3boy

    Yay — more downhill!

  10. och aye

    Does this mean that uci points will now be required to race the european series??

  11. Christo

    Freecaster and DH1 were incredibly unprofessional with their new race series in my opinion. This official euro series with ixs working with the UCI in my opinion is great news for european racing.

  12. Si Paton

    Five rounds of the Halo BDS in 2012 will be UCI classed events. Our dates and venues will be released November 1st. Si..

  13. Dazza

    @Mark – The UCI do not organise or run the World Cup DH series (or any other series for that matter). All they do is write the rule book and then charge an astronomical amount to each venue and its organising committee to run the event themselves. They are a governing body and nothing more. All that racing you have been enjoying is thanks to the good folks who host and run the events, no one else. In fact, If the UCI wasnt charging them so much simply to have their seal of approval the sport of DH would be a lot more profitable for the people who do actually run the events that keep this sport going.

    The IXS series was proof that an amazing series could be held without the dancing to the UCI’s fiddle. However it now seems they felt threatened by the Nissan / DH1 series and have jumped into bed with the UCI as a knee jerk reaction to DH1. Its all a very sad state of affairs.

  14. Justin

    I’ll be back from a year in oz soon to organize the rabble. rebel ‘in ‘n’ out’ series, buy a timing system, push up only, 10 quid to enter, cash for top 3. the challenge is to get your run in before the 5-0 turn up as no of us are supposed to be trespassing on the best illegal tracks in the uk! bring it!

  15. Rodney

    I this a cynical attempt by IXS and UCI to keep Freecaster out of the loop with the hope that DH1 doesn’t get off the ground?

  16. Iceman2058

    “Will this have an impact on the proposed DH1 series?”

    It would start to seem that way no wouldn’t it…?

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