No matter how technical, fast or loose a track is, it is never easy to race. Pushing it to the limit is dangerous and riding on the edge even more. The iXS European DH Cup in Schladming is no exception. Today was the first day of racing against the clock and things got exciting with pretty much the first rider down the hill. It was supposed to be the day of the Austrian riders but in both elite categories there was one who went quicker.
It was David Trummer, the Austrian teammate of Phil Atwill, who dropped in first and came out swinging in the elite men's category. He might have a bit of a homesoil advantage in Schladming but Trummer laid down a stellar run with a time which kept him in first place for a long time. Rider after rider dropped in and all of them tried their best but no one could really match his speed. The one who got closest was his fellow compatriot Boris Tetzlaff but still he was almost five seconds off the pace. It took the whole seeding till Jure Zabjek, the winner of Kranjska Gora and Willingen, got on track. Jure struggled with some major mechanical problems in practice but was able to block everything out in his seeding and went fastest by 1.123 seconds.
In the women's competition all eyes were on Eleonora Farina and Veronika Widmann. Both were fighting hard for the top spot a couple of weeks ago in Slovenia and missed out the second round of the series in Willingen but Widmann just could not match the pace of the top of the field. In the meanwhile Farina absolutely smashed it and went fastest by a massive margin of 12.744 seconds. Second place took Petra Bernhard followed by Monika Hrastnik.
Even though it looked like rain from time to time it stayed dry all day and the conditions were second to none
The Argentina Bike Devinci team proves that you don't need a massive set up to be well prepared
With short cut mud, normal DH and even some semi slick tires you could see totally different approaches today
The Unior Tools Team is running tire inserts.
Schladming delivers the good with epic scenery
Andreas Kolb throwing a bad ass whip at the infamous step up
Vali Hoell could not match the elite women speed but still dominated the U17 female category
Swiss rider Janosch Klaus rails his way into first place in the U17 male class
Simon Maurer seems to be on a high after his first podium finish in Willingen and went fastest in the U19 male
Petra Bernhard had a big homesoil advantage and took a great second place
Veronika Widmann looked good in practice but could not put it together and barely made the top 10
The fresh crowned European champion Eleonora Farina was absolutely flying and won the qualifier by over 12 seconds
From time to time the sun made its appearance and kept the spirit high
David Trummer was first rider down the hill a lead the seeding till Jure Zabjek came down last and took the fastest time
Rastislav Baranek was digging deep to get the sweet spot. 11th place for him in the seeding
It's all about cornering here in Schladming and Basil Weber proved himself as one of the best
With a solid 6th place qualifier Ondrej Stephanek is in touch for his first podium of the season
Joshua Barth has one of his best seasons to date and took another top10 result
Stanislav Sehnal sits in 13th with almost ten seconds off the lead
Bryn Dickerson qualifies for tomorrows Super Final in 27th
Phil Atwill was a bit off the pace in the first half of the track but pinned it through the woods and ended up 4th
A few mechanicals slowed Jure Zabjek down in practice but he was up to speed in his timed run and took the top step again
The forecast for tomorrow's race day looks all time
With plenty of braking bumps the mechanics are working hard to get the suspension dialed
After two wins in a row Jure Zabjek is looking for his third win, he will be last rider down the hill