The 2018 downhill season finally arrived and kicked off with the first round of the iXS European DH Cup at the legendary venue of Maribor. The Maribor track is always a hit with riders, and a lot of big teams made their way to Slovenia for final adjustments and to get into racing mode. After some heavy rainfall on Thursday the sky cleared during Friday's training and the slippery course got faster and faster. For some riders, like Brook Macdonald, who raced his first World Cup in here, Maribor is quite a place to remember. The opening round of the series provided great action and high level racing.
The legendary track in Maribor was the opening venue of the iXS European DH Cup and provided all time conditions and a rough track
There were some fresh man-made sections with massive jumps.
Quite a few World Cup teams came out to Maribor to get the first one out of the way and to be in rhythm for Losinj.
Commencal sent out the whole team to race in Maribor.
Myriam Nicole came fresh from riding in Portugal and proved she is in racing mood.
Mick Hannah had some fast lines but took a handful of smaller crashes and bruised his thighs.
Jure Zabjek injured his wrist and did not race but tested a wrist brace, and might be able to race the upcoming World Cup.
Max Hartenstern, who placed third place at Junior World Champs, has to prove himself from now on in the elite class
Mark Wallace railing turns.
Noel Niederberger making the most out of the new jump section at the bottom of the track.
Simon Chapelet from the Polygon UR Development team dominated the U17 male category.
Vali Hoell showed some great runs and nailed it in her final run which would have landed her in third place in the elite women's category.
Final turn action with Vali Hoell.
Henry Kerr did several runs following Phil Atwill, which might have helped give him the lines he needed to take second in the U19 male category.
Junior rider Kye A'hern of the Canyon Factory Racing team had a stellar final run to win the U19 category with a run which would have put him into 4th in the elite class.
Thibaut Daprela blew his tire of the rim.
The fresh crowned European Champ Monika Hrastnik took an excellent third place.
Tracey Hannah was just 0.6 off the winning pace and had to settle for second behind Myriam Nicole.
Smooth and fast was the key for Myriam Nicole who took the win in Maribor.
Collecting the last few air miles before sprinting towards the line.
A proper step down led the riders into the finish arena.
Mike Jones sprinting into 12th place.
Troy Brosnan seems to enjoy the ride more than ever and showed great speed but got unlucky with a mechanical during finals.
Brendan Fairclough was on fire this weekend but missed out the podium by just a few tenths.
Andreas Kolben wasn't just here for the whips.
The fresh and loamy track in Maribor was the perfect playground for Phil Atwill.
Remi Thirion took home eight place.
Brook Macdonald was not afraid of going big on his new bike, and was rewarded with a solid third place finish.
Just like the last few riders Amaury Pierron got some rain at the top but still battled for the win, taking second.
Laurie Greenland was the man of the day and took the win in a stacked field of racers.
Old team mates reunited and celebrating the great results.
11th might be a little bit disappointing but is surely no major set back for Troy Brosnan.
Podium Masters with Dominik Dierich, Fabrizio Dragoni and Billy Caroli
Podium U17 female with Viktoria Genova and Siel van der Van
Podium U17 male with Blake Ross, Simon Chapelet and Chris Cumming
Podium U19 female with Lisa Gava, Vali Hoell and Ottilia Jones
Podium U19 male with Henry Kerr, Kye A'hern and Stefano Introzzi
Podium elite women with Tracey Hannah, Myriam Nicole and Monika Hrastnik
Podium elite men with Amaury Pierron, Laurie Greenland and Brook Macdonald