Ain't No Sunshine: IXS European Downhill Cup 2, Willingen – Photo Epic and Video

May 19, 2017
by Racement  



Two weeks went by and the IXS European DH Cup is back at it again with its second round. As part of the annual Ziener Bike Festival in Willingen the IXS European DH Cup is raced on the old World Cup course which is without a doubt one of the smoothest tracks all year. This does not mean it is an easy one. Willingen is hard on your body, especially on the mental side. The riders better not be scared by the really fast top and bottom section when the speed is picking up quickly. As Willingen is not the most technical track the times will be pretty close all weekend long and not the rider with the most solid run will win, but the rider who can push and probably scare themselves the most will take the top step.

The weather is another big factor this weekend. Today's practice session was plotted by thick fog and a lot of rain. Single-digit temperatures weren't the riders favorite but still, everyone was enjoying the first runs and the forecast for the next two days looks a lot more enjoyable. As there is one string result the field of riders is a little bit smaller than in Kranjska Gora at the opening round what includes a few of the top riders are missing as well. Nonetheless the current leader, Jure Zabjek is here to get the job done and with Matt Walker, Stanislav Sehnal and many more wanting their first win it will not be an easy one. In the elite women category Monika Hrastnik, who took second in Slovenia, is the top favorite for the win.


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The Ziener BIKE Festival in Willingen is around for years and a big come-together in the German mountainbike community
The Ziener Bike Festival in Willingen is around for years and a big come-together in the German mountain bike community

At track walk time you still were able to see the start tent. By midday it disappeared in the fog
At track walk time you still were able to see the start tent. By midday it disappeared in the fog

There were hope but these were the last sunbeams for the day
There were hope but these were the last sunbeams for the day

The GZ Racing Team at their collective track walk
The GZ Racing Team at their collective track walk

Thick fog and plenty of rain hindered the first training here in Willingen
Thick fog and plenty of rain hindered the first training here in Willingen

The first part of the track has quite a few smaller take offs
The first part of the track has quite a few smaller take offs

The winner in Slovenia Jure Zabjek is one of the few fast guys here in Willingen
The winner in Slovenia, Jure Zabjek, is one of the few fast guys here in Willingen

Although there are plenty of pads you do not want to crash in this wood section as it is highspeed
Although there are plenty of pads you do not want to crash in this wood section as it is high speed

Sharp rocks already caused some flats in the first practice session
Sharp rocks already caused some flats in the first practice session

Fresh loam in the woods
Fresh loam in the woods

Loam assessor Friedrich Frey was pumped after his final inspection and ready to hit the track
Loam assessor, Friedrich Frey, was pumped after his final inspection and ready to hit the track

Nino Antic is in the house and one of the favorites in the masters category
Nino Antic is in the house and one of the favorites in the masters category

The finish area has got it s own little expo area next to it
The finish area has got its own little expo area next to it

Due to the steep first few meters the riders get up to speed really quick
Due to the steep first few meters the riders get up to speed really quick

The Kellys Factory Racing riders Rastislav Baranek following Jozef Ondic
The Kellys Factory Racing riders, Rastislav Baranek following Jozef Ondic

Silas Grandy is one of the ten protected riders for the super final on sunday
Silas Grandy is one of the ten protected riders for the super final on sunday

This inside line has a gnarly G-Out at the bottom
This inside line has a gnarly G-Out at the bottom

Valli Hoell won the Pro U17 female category in Kranjska Gora
Valli Hoell won the Pro U17 female category in Kranjska Gora

The fresh cut wood section is definitely a tough one when it comes to line choice
The fresh cut wood section is definitely a tough one when it comes to line choice

Jasper Jauch hits the corner jump into a steep chute
Jasper Jauch hits the corner jump into a steep chute

Monika Hrastnik on one of the upper jumps
Monika Hrastnik on one of the upper jumps

Eyes on the prize. Jure Zabjek leads the overall in the elite men and is hunting his first european title
Eyes on the prize. Jure Zabjek leads the overall in the elite men and is hunting his first European title

The rain kept it steady the whole day and caused some serious track conditions
The rain kept it steady the whole day and caused some serious track conditions

Hard to imagine but Janis Lehman rode this one out and kept his kit clean at least a little bit more than others
Hard to imagine but Janis Lehman rode this one out and kept his kit clean, at least a little bit more than others
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MENTIONS: @iXSsports / @Racement




11 Comments

  • + 10
 just ran into CG last week. He is fat now.
  • + 3
 I remember CG doing an incredible jump there, when it was still on the WC. Not the most amazing track, but brings back fantastic memories.
  • + 5
 Slicker than a baby seal!!
  • + 3
 that's the speeds that I ride as well (when it is dry...)
  • + 2
 JUST ban mud!
  • + 1
 I like the 4x section. More DH tracks should have a rhythm jump section included, as well as the rough DH that this track seems to lack.
  • + 4
 That "loam" is duff.
  • - 2
 You should come to Oslo, Norway instead. Our small track at Frognerseteren is much more challenging than that. For example sometimes the hill is so steep you can barely climb off the bike. And there is roots and large rocks everywhere.
  • + 2
 Does Europe have no answer for @mtbmania?
  • + 1
 all that mud/water and not a single brake squeak....
  • - 3
 Just a big BMX track

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