iXS European Downhill Cup - Pila/Italy

Aug 15, 2011
by Ian Hylands  
The fifth leg of the iXS European Downhill Cup in Pila/Italy saw Florent Payet and Miriam Ruchti immortalize themselves as the winners. With 337 competitors from 26 countries the race was the most international of the series to date. And the course also had all the makings for a world cup event.

Florent Payet FRA - SC-Intense 1st Place Elite Men
Florent Payet on his way to winning the Elite Men's Race

Pila has been well-known to the mountain biking community far beyond Italy’s borders since long before it hosted the World Cup in 2005. So it was not a total surprise when, last year, iXS selected it as the venue for a leg of the European Series. The bike park in the Aosta Valley has a perfect infrastructure and former professional cyclist Corrado Herin designed a world quality course for this year’s race. The dry, extremely dusty conditions made the track very slippery and even more challenging. The names on the registration list already promised that the race would be top class but the atmosphere would still have been very special despite this – the Italians are, after all, known the world over for their love of cycling. In addition to this, the high level of media and camera coverage was particularly striking – there was even a camera helicopter circling over the course. Conditions were thus perfect for the penultimate leg of the European Cup.

Loic Bruni FRA - Team Lapierre International 2nd Place Elite Men
Loic Bruni, 2nd Place
Johann Potgieter RSA 3rd Place Elite Men
Johann Potgieter, 3rd Place

After Lewis Buchanan (GBR - ChainReactionCycles) recorded the fastest time in the seeding run, ahead of Cameron Cole (NZL - Lapierre) and Joshua Button (AUS - SC-Intense), Sunday saw a completely different set of names on the podium. Johann Potgieter (RSA) set a best time very early on in the race and was able to relax in the Red Bull Hot Seat for a while. At the end of the day his time was, however, only good enough for third place, despite being only 36 hundredths of second slower than the winner. Second place went to junior rider Loic Bruni (FRA - Lapierre) who was thus able to leave all the major favourites behind him. Only one of the final Top 20 was able to better his time by 14 hundredths of a second. Florent Payet (FRA - SC-Intense) took 4:19 min to complete his run, winning one of the Cup’s most hotly contested races by the narrowest of margins.

Elite Men Podium Loic Bruni FRA - Lapierre Florent Payet FRA - SC-Intense Johann Potgieter RSA
Men's Podium
Miriam Ruchti SUI - SC-Nukeproof 1st Place Elite Women
Miriam Ruchti won the Elite Women's Race

With sovereign first places in the seeding run and the finals Miriam Ruchti (SUI - SC-Nukeproof) assured her early victory in the overall rankings. Second place in the day’s rankings went to Elisa Canepa (ITA - Eli-CA RRide asd) with Diana Marggraff (ECU) able to repeat her success in Špičák and achieve another third place on the podium.

Tahnee Seagrave FRA - FOX Intense 1st Place Junior female
Tahnee Seagrave had the fastest run of the day, winning the U17 Womens category, and almost a tenth of second faster than Elite Women's winner Miriam Ruchti.

Junior Female biker Tahnee Seagrave (FRA - Fox/Intense) once again showed what we can expect from her in the coming season, when she will be able to compete in the Elite Women category as a junior. The time she achieved in Pila would have made her the winner in exactly this category – for the second time after Monte Tamaro.

The results in the Junior Male category were also less than surprising: Gianluca Vernessa (ITA - Argentina Bikes) again took top points, as previously in the first race of the series and in Leogang.

In the Masters category it looked as if Wilfred van de Haterd (NED - Bike Service Eisenach) would clearly dominate the entire weekend. Despite falling he won the seeding run with just under 5 seconds’ lead. However a flat tyre in the finals put paid to his hopes of gaining a fourth Cup victory. This left the way clear for Marcel Waldmann (SUI - Fatwork) to take his first win of the season. Heinz Hostettler (SUI - BanditBike.ch) came in second, ahead of Javier Santiago (ARG - Moser Sport).

Servus TV will be broadcasting a report on the race on 23 September. Visit ixsdownhillcup.com to see all further results. The last leg of the iXS European Downhill Cup takes place in Châtel/France on 17./18.09.2011.

© Photos: Thomas Dietze


  • 4 0
 Good to see Tahnee smashed every woman from ALL age groups into the weeds. Roll on world cups for this girl!
  • 1 0
 we want a videoooooooooooooooooo...
  • 2 0
 Incredible to see that Waldmann and van de Haterd are still in the top spots in Masters. It seems they have been battling now for ages...
  • 3 0
 Well done Pottie! Great result mate! Good to see more South African riders on the podium!
  • 4 0
 Someone PLEASE give Johan Potgieter a ride.
  • 3 0
 POTTIE!!! what a result! South Africa FTW
  • 1 0
 I've been there this sunday Smile Awesome track, wish there will replace Val di Sole with Pila in the World Cup the next years!
  • 2 0
 was ment ot be there this summer sososososososo unstoked Frown
  • 1 0
 Nice seeing Pottie beating some big names out there!!!!
  • 1 0

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