Race Report: iXS EDC #1 Losinj

Difficult conditions at the season opener

The 2023 season is up and running. The first race took the iXS EDC to the island of Losinj, Croatia. The weather was very changeable and made for an exciting start to the season. In the final, Léona Pierrini (FRA) and Adam Rojcek (SVK) took the best times of the day in the elite classes.


View - EDC Losinj 2023.jpg


The island & the start of the season

The island of Losinj is a jewel of the Adriatic. There are crystal clear waters, idyllic bays and old fishing villages. You wouldn't really expect a downhill track here. But it is precisely on this Mediterranean island that you will find one of the most difficult courses of the season. Losinj offers lush vegetation and is surrounded by beautiful nature. The 1350-metre track leads through this paradise and is a real challenge. About 200 participants from 28 nations took up this challenge last weekend.

Once again, the Mediterranean island delivered a breathtaking opening race. The technically demanding track was a little shorter this year, as the urban finish sprint was dispensed. Nevertheless, it was a real challenge for all riders. However, the Mediterranean flair of the surroundings was worth all the efforts.

Anton Metsärinta - EDC Losinj 2023.jpg



Friday started as usual with the handing out of the start numbers. The trackwalk was a bit rainy and made the track quite slippery in some parts. The first practice session became a challenging task for many riders due to a few rain showers. Steffen Smets (GER - ergotec Racing Team) and Nico Schlebes (GER), the riders of the "Maxxis Course Preview", also had difficulties keeping the upper hand on the track.



On Saturday there were only a few clouds and some sunshine. In the course of the day, the surface almost dried out. The morning practice session offered many riders the opportunity to fine-tune their lines. Apart from a few minor incidents, the qualifying went smoothly. At the end of the day, Justine Welzel (GER) and Andreas Kolb (AUT - Continental Atherton Racing) took the fastest times in the elite classes.

Andreas Kolb - EDC Losinj 2023_4.jpg Andreas Kolb was able to live up to his role as a favourite on Saturday with a lead of 4 seconds.


Final day

The final on race-day was really exciting. Rain, mud and wind increased the difficulty level considerably. There were several crashes and many flat tires. Surprisingly, Adam Rojcek (SVK - Osmos Gravity Team) found the fastest line in the final run with a time of 2:09.151 minutes and a lead of 2.3 seconds. The Slovakian was previously injured for over a year and won his first iXS European Downhill Cup race on Sunday. Last year's winner Luka Berginc (SLO - DH Visit Pohorje) came in second ahead of Lutz Weber (SUI - teamproject.ch).

Adam Rojcek - EDC Losinj 2023 4.jpg Adam Rojcek medalled his way back onto the international stage with a prestigious victory.

The elite women's class also saw exciting battles. Léona Pierrini (FRA - Union Sinter Factory Racing Team) took the victory in only her second elite season. Behind her, Delphine Bulliard (SUI - Verbier Racing Team) came in second and Justine Welzel third. Welzel had the fastest time in the qualification but crossed the finish line with a flat tire in the final and was thus unable to better her second place from last year.

Award Ceremony - EDC Losinj 2023.jpg


Adam Rojcek

„I couldn't race for 1.5 years because I injured my right shoulder. My goal for Losinj was to show my best form again. My run in the qualifying went quite well, but it was only enough for 12th place, as it was my first race after the long break. At the start of the race I had confidence in my abilities and all the hard work I have put into this sport. The run was really on the limit, which is why I am now very happy about this success.“

Léona Pierrini

„It was a very difficult weekend for me, the changing conditions made the track very slippery and unpredictable. In practice on Sunday I crashed three times, so I didn't think I would win the race. But then in the race run I had a good line. I played it safe a bit to avoid crashing, which ultimately gave me my first victory in the elite class.“

The track was extremely difficult this year. The flowing passages at the beginning seemed rather deceptive. After a few jumps, it got really tough. Stones, drops, mud and even more stones demanded full concentration from the riders. Over a length of 1.35 kilometres and a difference in altitude of 245 metres, there were fierce battles for the best time. The island did not quite live up to its promise of 300 days of sunshine. It often hid behind rain clouds. The view from the start, however, provided a holiday feeling and made the weekend a good start into the new season!