Cernilogar and Vauh are the 2013 iXS European Downhill Champions
29 Sep 2013
The final round of the iXS European Downhill Cup in Maribor (Slovenia) is in the books and this year's course definitely met the high expectations of the riders and the crowd. Even if the weather was not exactly as its best behavior, it was a perfect last weekend of the season.
In 2013 the iXS European Downhill Cup made its way to Maribor for the final round. The Maribor track offers 2.6 kilometers in length and 450 vertical meters and therefore belongs to the most popular and challenging ones in the world. Especially among the pros it has always been one of their favorite tracks. The course slightly changed since the World Cup's last visit in 2010 and presented itself in optimal condition this year. A first highlight of the weekend was the track walk on Friday morning which caused some first smiles and even higher expectations for the weekend. The weather, however, was not exactly ideal for the race and, thus, made the stage far from easy for the 200 participants from 28 different nations. But once the riders adjusted to the situation, the training sessions on Friday and Saturday took a rather relaxed course.
In Saturday's seeding run, the first riders took the opportunity to collect some more points for the overall rankings. In the Elite Women category, Zarja Cernilogar (SLO - Blackthorn GT) was already in the books as the champion of the EDC 2013. But nevertheless, she did not reduce the speed and took the first place in the seeding run. She was followed by Manon Carpenter (GBR - Madison Saracen DH Team). The Elite Men category was dominated by Ruaridh Cunningham (GBR - Unior/Trek), who already won in Châtel, but does not play a significant role in the standings. Joe Connell (GBR - SC-Intense) lost ground and ended up in 19th place, whereas his competitors Miran Vauh (SLO - Blackthorn GT) and Ziga Pandur (SLO - Unior Tools Team) finished in 6th and 4th in qualifying.
On Sunday, the weather conditions did not change very much, apart from the additional constant rain throughout the finals - but at least the choice of tires was clear. And also Rostislav Stencel (CZE - Bikeplac Racing) left no space for discussion: he dominated the Masters category in both, the seeding run and the final run, and sits atop the overall standings in 2013. Second place went to Vlastimil Hyncica (CZE - Specialized CZ), followed by Will Londgen (GBR - Madison Saracen) in third.
In the U17 male category, Loris Revelli (ITA - Argentina Bike) and Silas Grandy (GER - Moto Club Faro/Xdream) went head-to-head while fighting for the title. Grandy already had some troubles in qualifying, and had to give up on this year's title due to a mistake in the finals. In the end, Revelli succeeded and won the overall rankings of the EDC 2013 in his category. Bryn Pfeiffer (FRA - Valloire Galibier Vtt), however, provided the best time of the day with 4:00.325 minutes and won this weekend's race ahead of Revelli and Mark Jacob Dickson (ITA - Giant UK Cyclezone).
Zarja Cernilogar started her race already as the EDC champion 2013, but nevertheless still had a strong competitor with Manon Carpenter in the finals. But at the end of the day, Cernilogar even managed to edge out Carpenter, after she had failed to do so in the World Cup and made the victory complete. With a time of 4:20.392 minutes and an incredible 15-second gap to second place Manon Carpenter, she definitely deserves to be rewarded with the title, a good deal of price money and an expensive TAG Heuer Formula 1 watch. The third place in Maribor went to Italian Champion Alia Marcellini (ITA - Turpado Surfing Shop). Jáná Bartova (CZE - Bikeplac Racing) secured her vice-champion title with a healthy fourth place in Maribor, while Carina Cappellari (SUI - Suspension Center) rounded out the podium in the overall rankings.
At the end of the day, all eyes were on the Elite Men category. Despite the unfortunate weather conditions, the crowd was huge and everyone was more than just excited. It was quite hard, however, to keep track of the riders, as every single one of them was covered in mud. But at least they all had to face the same conditions: darkness in the woods, mud all over the track, but still a perfect course for an EDC final. The best time of 3:34.033 minutes in the seeding run seemed totally impossible to reach in the finals. The first rider, who came down the hill in less than 4 minutes was Christian Textor (GER - Team Bulls), who already took a podium at a German iXS race twice this year. After that, the rankings started to change towards their final version: Boris Tetzlaff (AUT - Alpine Commencal) set a new best time of 3:47.762 minutes. Whereas Robin Wallner (SWE - Team W-Racing) could not reach this time, Miran Vauh went even faster with 3:43.424 min and put himself in the right position to collect some last points for the standings. Even if he already had edged out Joe Connell with this time, there were other competitors waiting to take over the lead. But they all failed: Ziga Pandur seemed to succeed at the split, but ended up 4 seconds slower than Vauh. David Trummer (AUT - RRP Ghost), who already went second place in qualifying, was able to defend this position. Last man down the hill was Ruaridh Cunningham, who ended up in third place and rounded out the podium. With these results, also the final decisions in the overall standings were made. With a total of 498 points, Vauh is the champion of the iXS European Downhill Cup 2013, followed by Ziga Pandur (464 points) in second and a disappointed Joe Connell (419 points) in third place.
Another iXS European Downhill Cup season has concluded with a spectacular race and it is obvious that Maribor was a more than just worthy host for its final round. A long off-season lies ahead and we already cannot wait for the next season to start. Stay up-to-date at ixsdownhillcup.com or at facebook.com/ixs.downhill.cup.
On Monday, the highlight video will be available on redbull.com/bike and next weekend the iXS Downhill Cup is headed to its very last stop of the season with the final run of the Swiss Downhill Cup in Bellwald.
Photos: © Thomas Dietze
GoPro Course Check with Johann Potgieter: