Abetone, Italy, was a fresh and new venue to this years iXS European DH Cup schedule to host the third round of the 2018 series. Deep in Tuscany, the riders had to face one the most demanding tracks to date. They were not only met with high temperatures but also afive-minute track with great flow and a long pedally traverse at the top made everyone suffer big time. Still, the riders feedback was positive without exception and racing was all time.
In the women's field, it was once again Monika Hrastnik who took the win. The European champ from Slovenia looked great in the dust but got some strong company from Nina Hoffmann and Eleonora Farina who came back to racing after a fractured D8 bone earlier this season. Hrastnik was back in third at the split time but turned up the volume in the bottom section taking the top step by 1.147 seconds.
Joshua Barth came into the race as the main contender in the elite men. After winning his first elite race in Kranjska Gora two weeks ago, Barth is carrying some serious confidence and looked extremely fast in practice. But it was the FS Funn Factory team and their two riders Harry Molloy and Bryn Dickerson who dominated the field. Both sat first and second after qualification and just pressed the repeat button in the finals. Barth, who was fourth in seeding, went into the hot seat with three riders to go and while Davide Palazzari got a puncture the Brit and the Kiwi went for it. Molloy was able to go faster than Barths time but still wasn't as fast as Dickerson the day before. Bryn stormed down the dusty mountainside of Abetone and beat his teammate by more three seconds. The podium was completed by Luka Berginc, Adam Rojcek, Miran Vauh, Ondrej Stephanek and Stanislav Sehnal.ixsdownhillcup.com