iXS European Downhill Cup Series 2014
28 Mar 2014
This year, the European iXS Series includes seven races in five different countries. It provides riders with a first-class choice of venues as it includes some of the best tracks in the world. And just in time for the upcoming season, we also present our new web portal.
The iXS European Downhill Cup has developed steadily over the years. Nowadays it can be seen as the perfect stage for continental bike sport. This year, the Cup even took it to the next level again: The calendar provides a perfect choice of tracks and different venues, which have played an important role in different world cups and championships before. Even if they might not have been a part of the huge events in recent years, they are still far from forgotten in the scene and among the riders. Everyone who is interested in real racing, should save the following dates:
16.05./18.05. iXS European Downhill Cup #1 Maribor (SLO)
20.06./22.06. iXS European Downhill Cup #2 Schladming (AUT)
27.06./29.06. iXS European Downhill Cup #3 Val di Sole (ITA)
04.07./06.07. iXS European Downhill Cup #4 Les 2 Alpes (FRA)
18.07./20.07. iXS European Downhill Cup #5 Spicak (CZE)
15.08./17.08. iXS European Downhill Cup #6 Pila (ITA)
19.09./21.09. iXS European Downhill Cup #7 Leogang (AUT)
The season starts at Specialized-Pohorje Bike Park in Maribor, second biggest city in Slovenia with about 100,000 inhabitants. This track should be well-known to most of the riders: memories of a perfect track lined with hundreds of fans and visitors. This should be the perfect starting point of the series.
Only one month later, our next stop will be Planai-Schladming Bike Park in the Steiermark in Austria: a venue that got its huge name from the Ski World Championships in 2013. After a pause due to preparations for this international event, Schladming will re-enter the downhill stage this season only one week after the world cup in Leogang.
Another week later, the third classic venue of the EDC 2014 will be Val di Sole in Italy. This is another name that definitely calls for perfect downhill races. There is rarely one person who does not remember Sam Hill’s legendary crash only a few meters before the finish line in 2008. The track is one of the most popular ones, but is also known to be one of the hardest ones. A small facelift will bring a fresh breeze to the classic course. But of course, sections like Pippo’s Old School Section will definitely be part of this year’s competition, too.
In the middle of the season, our path will take us to a completely new venue: With Les 2 Alpes Bike Park, the EDC pays a visit to Crankworx Europe under the title Polygon Air DH. Both the festival character and the rather huge amount of price money should lure some of the real big names to our fourth stop. Live webcast on redbull.com/bike.
The fifth stop takes us to the eastern parts of Europe. Špičák Bike Park in the Czech Republic is another classic venue and its bike park became more and more popular over the last years. The track might not be among the longest and fastest ones, but the rocky ground definitely takes its toll.
In August, the EDC once more returns to Italy. At Pila Bike Park, we not only visit the highest mountains of Europe, but we also get the chance to enjoy the spectacular view of the Matterhorn, Mont Blanc and the Monte Rosa. And the view is not the only thing that is breathtaking: former World Cup winner Corrado Herin prepared a track that promises a really interesting competition.
At last, the season will end with a final EDC run in Leogang Bike Park in Austria. As the last race often is the most exciting one, the former track of the International Championships in 2012 fits the purpose. This will be the last chance to fight for the 2014 title and therefore a great final event for the participants and visitors.
In addition to the well-chosen venues in 2014, there have been some chances in the general regulations. The most obvious one is the introduction of a ‘Super Final’ in which the Top 30 of the Elite Men category will fight for the title once more after their final run. The second change will concern the standings and the results. Out of 7 races, the standings will consist of only 5 seeding run results and 5 final run results. The other results will be deleted in order to guarantee a fair overall standing. Therefore, a rather bad result due to a technical defect or an injury can be erased without jeopardizing the result of the whole series.
For more information on the series, visit ixsdownhillcup.com or facebook.com/iXS.Downhill.Cup
Photos: © Thomas Dietze