Just as in last year, Châtel, France was the venue for the iXS European Downhill Cup final. A total of 301 riders from 20 countries took this last opportunity to gain points for the overall ranking, with Markus Pekoll and Miriam Ruchti the overall winners.Men Top 3
1. Marcus Klausmann
2. Nick Beer
3. Markus PekollWomen Top 3
1. Emilie Siegenthaler
2. Miriam Ruchti
3. Sandra ReynierFull Results at bottom...
The last European Series racing weekend kicked off on Friday with fantastic weather for the free training session. The “Bike Petrol” course had been only slightly changed from the previous year, however and had everything anyone could wish for in such a top notch race. Saturday morning saw the first rain, resulting in significant changes in the conditions for riders. By the time the seeding run came around it was dry again, however this didn’t change the fact that the course was still wet. Marcus Klausmann (GER - Ghost ATG) coped with the conditions best, underlining his ambition to achieve third place in the Series rankings – still a realistic option – with a best time of 2:48 mins.
On Sunday the weather forecasts turned out to be right and it rained again – continuously. There was even a snow fall as the race began. In some places the riders could have used a rubber boat instead of a downhill bike. Many competitors however confirmed that it was still possible to achieve a fast time, so it turned out to be just a race under extreme wet and cold conditions.
In the overall rankings it was already clear before the race that Markus Pekoll (AUT - MS Evil) in the Elite Men category had an excellent starting position to win the Series if he achieved two safe runs. He should actually have been competing against Josh Button (AUS - SC-Intense) for the title. Button, however, was forced to call a premature end to his season because of an injury sustained at the World Championships, thus finishing second in the overall rankings. In the Elite Women category it was already clear following the penultimate race that Miriam Ruchti (SUI - SC-Nukeproof) would be taking the title for the fourth time in succession.
Florent Payet (FRA - SC-Intense) grabbed the Red Bull Hot Seat in the Elite Men class with the initial best time. The end of the day saw the winner in Pila/ITA finishing fourth. Markus Pekoll was first to beat Payet’s time and was visibly pleased, since his third place meant that he had gained overall victory. The previous year’s overall winner, Nick Beer (SUI - Scott 11), took second place at Châtel, once again demonstrating his talent.
Marcus Klausmann (GER - GHOST ATG PRO TEAM) was the last to ride the course and already had a 5 second lead at the interim time check. He was able to maintain this lead until crossing the finishing line; a clear winner with a time of 2:49 mins. This meant that he was able to achieve his goal of third place in the EDC overall rankings, the same as last year.
Emilie Siegenthaler (SUI - Scott 11) took victory in the Elite Women class with a time 3:26 mins, ahead of Miriam Ruchti. Junior Sandra Reynier (FRA - C&K Racing) took third place, meaning that she finished just behind Ruchti, Siegenthaler and Harriet Rücknagel (GER - OnTheEdge) in the overall rankings.
A time of 3:35 made Tahnée Seagrave (GBR - Fox/Intense) the winner in the U17 category, ahead of Lisa Kreuzer (AUT - RC Kreuzer). It would also have been good enough to get her third place in the Elite category, which she will be starting in from next year. Lisa Kreuzer was, however, able to secure first place in the overall rankings.
The fastest U17 male rider was again Gianluca Vernassa (ITA - Argentina Bike), also the winner of the overall rankings. He was followed by Marcel Etheve (FRA) and Jan Berkenkopf (GER - Young Guns Racing).
In the Masters Heinz Hostettler (SUI - BanditBike.ch) managed to beat the rest of the pack, winning ahead of Javier Santiago (ARG - Moser Sport) and Marcel Waldmann (SUI - Fatwork). The overall victory, however, went to Wilfred van de Haterd (NED - Specialized) with Waldmann finishing in second place ahead of Santiago.
The placings in the overall rankings were not only rewarded with total prize money of € 6,000 but also with very valuable watches for Ruchti and Pekoll from timing partner TAG Heuer.
for all further information. Check out this narrated POV ride from Friday’s training session. It wasn’t hard to persuade Johann Potgieter (RSA - Mongoose), third in Pila, to do it for us, as you can hear from his comments.
Coverage of the race and a retrospective on the 2011 European Cup will be airing on Servus TV on 14 October. The fourth season of the Series is now history, but it will be continuing next year, again under the iXS banner. Dates will be announced at the end of the year.Results Final Run Chatel Fra