IXS European DH Cup – Chatel
15-16 August 2009
This weekend brought the penultimate round of the IXS European Cup being to Chatel. After several mountain style/jump competitions being held in the area this season it’s refreshing to see some downhill action on the mountain.
The course was held on the ‘Bike Patrol’ course at the Chatel Bikepark. Although the course is open season long, there have been numerous alterations and additions to the course making an awesome track that was just a little over two and a half minutes long and riding well after a week full of blue skies and sunshine – weather that was to continue over the weekend.
Being a European cup, entries come from throughout Europe, including a good healthy dose of Brits. There were those that had made the trip over specially, some that were in the area on holiday and others that were on epic race/road trips all over Europe such as Joe Barnes and Fergus Lamb.
Joe Barnes on his 225
These guys really impress me, living out of the back of a van for months on end with nowhere but where lay there helmet to call home. Joe was riding his new 225 this weekend and seems to be getting to grips with it now and rides much smoother than the current 224.
This race series is a well oiled machine. Everyone seemed to know where they were meant to be and at what time and everything ran to schedule. There are the usual queues that you would see at any race, but for a chairlift rather than cattle truck. They had even built a footpath the full length of the track making it easy for spectators to line the full length of the track.
The regulations are pretty tight this side of the Channel with back, chest, knee and elbow pads obligatory, each rider being checked at the start before their run. This lead to some fairly ghetto solutions, including sponge and cardboard being gaffa taped to one’s elbows – it may not offer much protection but it was enough to fool the marshals into letting you ride, and you can bet if Sam Hill wore them they’d be the next big thing.
Ghetto pads – regulations are tight
Come race day the track conditions were still dry and dusty and positions were closely fought. However, the win was taken comfortably by Nick Beer with Nathan Rankin coming in 1.6 seconds behind him. The fasted Brit on the day was Joe Barnes coming in 7th, 7.5 seconds off the pace.
Nick Beer on the way to the win
In the women Floriane Pugin just grabbed the win 0.7 seconds ahead of Sabrina Jonnier.
Sabrina Jonnier missed the win by just 0.7 seconds
1 Nick BEER 2:32.805
2 Nathan RANKIN 2:34.431
3 Pierre Charles GEORGES 2:36.342
1 Floriane PUGIN 2:52.121
2 Sabrina JONNIER 2:52.791
3 Caroline SAX 3:09.898
1 Florian ARTHUS 2:44.289
2 Marius PACCOLAT 2:44.956
3 Alexandre LOHNER 2:45.092
Words and pictures from Paul at www.riders-retreat.co.uk
Also at the event 14 yeard old Tahnée Seagrave, who wants to be a future World Champion, came second in the Junior women even though she is still too young to race.
I am pretty happy with my result this weekend. For the last 10 days I have been with my neighbours nan’s house in the South of France and have not even seen a bike let alone ride one! Dad phoned me Thursday and asked if I wanted to do the IXS European Cup race in Chatel – training was Friday with qualifying on Saturday and I did not get back till Friday night! I was so desperate to ride my bike, I thought it would be fun!!
Check out Tahnée’s website for full race report and pictures.
More tahnee Mountain Biking >>
Nick Beer wins IXS European DH Cup – Chatel