iXS European Downhill Cup

There’s other races going on apart from Crankworx. Although it does seem like the place to be is Whistler at the moment.

Here is the news from the iXS Cup:

At the iXS European Downhill Cup’s third stop in Châtel, France, Nick Beer and Floriane Pugin rode to not entirely surprising victories. A total of 200 racers from no less than 14 countries participated at France’s race under virtually perfect conditions.

Situated within the Portes du Soleil region, Châtel’s bike park lived up to its reputation as a mountain biking paradise, offering both a perfect organization and infrastructure. The «Bike Patrol» course had been discussed heavily before the race, and although the opinions varied all riders agreed on the fact that this was one of the hardest courses on the iXS calendar. Friday’s training sessions showed that even in this terrain everyone could have some fun thanks to the course’s excellent preparation.

For Saturday’s seeding run, the conditions were almost perfect. The course that had been wet in the morning was drying quickly in most places, which promised times around three minutes. Once again Andreas Sieber (GER – Solid A-Class Factory Team) proved his class, being the sole rider to slip under the three minutes barrier. Nick Beer crashed and decided to roll to the finish. His brother Marcel (both from Switzerland and competing for the iXS Sports Division team) on the other hand placed second, closely followed by Samuel Zbinden (CH – Argentina Bike). Being considered as a pre-race favorite by many, Nathan Rankin (NZL – Iron Horse) did not take full risk and finished in eighth.

On Sunday, the weather was splendid and the sun was shining, so everything was set for a thrilling race. Due to his crash in the seeding run, Nick Beer was one of the first elite men’s riders on the course. Nevertheless he posted a blazingly fast time with 2min53, thus occupying the Red Bull Hot Seat for a very long time. It was not until Nathan Rankin missed the fastest time by two seconds that Beer’s ride showed its true quality. All the riders that followed could not touch the fastest time either, and even Sieber who had posted the fastest seeding run had to admit defeat, finishing in third behind Rankin.

The women’s race was won superiorly by Floriane Pugin (FRA – Playbiker/Ironhorse) who put more than seven seconds on Miriam Ruchti (SUI – Sport Promotion), who still felt the effects of surgery on a wisdom tooth, and Caroline Sax (FRA – Sport Promotion). Joseph Smith (GBR – Tomac Factory Racing) was the fastest junior in Châtel, pushing Yannick Colomb (FRA – Lizon Mountain Cycle) and Malin Wind Disse (ECU – Akira) to second and third respectively.

After three of the five races have been ridden, Marcel Beer is leading the men’s overall by a margin of twenty points on his brother Nick, who has only competed in two races thus far due to his participation at the world cup races in Canada. In the women’s overall standing, Miriam Ruchti has kept her lead, followed by Caroline Sax and Harriet Rücknagel.

The serie’s next race is scheduled for 23rd/24th August 2008 in Ilmenau, Germany, which has been the venue of Germany’s national championships in 2007.

Please find all the detailed results on


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