iXS Downhill Cup/Specialized RockShox Rookies Cup

The review of 2020

The year 2020 completely changed the world. Since March, restrictions have been omnipresent in many areas of life. The effects of the corona pandemic on the sporting events industry were enormous and we can therefore look back on a very difficult season.

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The threat posed by the novel corona virus was a far-reaching turning point in everyone's daily life. Even if the assessment of the measures taken is assessed very differently, the situation is quite clear. There is an increased risk of contracting a new type of virus, for which the effects have not been conclusively clarified. On the part of politics, various regulations have been issued that made the organization of sports competitions almost impossible or difficult. For this reason, the iXS Downhill Cup and the Specialized RockShox Rookies Cup almost completely came to a standstill in 2020. The following is a chronological overview of the past season.


At the beginning of March, we got in touch with the first news regarding the Corona issue and explained that we are closely monitoring the situation. A short time later, we postponed the big events because it was hoped that the situation might have improved in the second half of the year. In mid-March it was clear that there would be no races in spring.

From the end of March, as a cooperation between the Five Ten Kids Cup presented by Maxxis and the Specialized RockShox Rookies Cup, we launched the Rookies Online Bikeschool and tried to bridge the gap in twelve programs. Some great contributions were made and even if the whole thing was not produced in a highly professional manner, it could certainly help one or the other to survive the time in which one was more or less stuck at home. The number of hits was quite respectable, especially the programs with Vali Höll and Elias Schwärzler, which were each viewed more than 2000 times.


By mid-April we published a new provisional racing calendar, which listed at least four European Cup races, eight iXS Downhill Cup events and three Specialized RockShox Rookies Cup races. At this point it was clear that there would be no races at least until the end of June and this news also included the notice that we would publish an update at the beginning of June. The racing calendar that followed eight weeks later only consisted of a few races and it was clear that these were also fraught with greater uncertainty.

Status Quo

But even if we had to face constant postponements, coordination with individual organizers, reimbursement of the entry fees and our own internal challenges, we didn't want to bury our heads in the sand and have worked with Wyn Masters, Markus Pekoll and Uwe Buchholz dedicated to the idea of the NotARace. This idea of the anti-event quickly turned into a practicable concept, which ultimately became a complete success, not least due to the great media interest, the host location and the participating protagonists. The NotARace - iXS Cup Test Session in the Schladming Bikepark, which took place in compliance with the pandemic measures, was definitely one of the highlights of mountain biking in the first half of the year. The efforts on our part to reissue the whole thing then went rather difficult because the restrictions due to the pandemic should not be underestimated. At some point we just gave up and left it with one issue.


In the time that followed, there was one event cancellation after another, except for the one for the Specialized RockShox Rookies Cup in Steinach in the Thuringian Forest. The small and rather inconspicuous bike park just didn't want to give in so quickly. The local organizer was able to work out a concept with the responsible authorities with which one could pull off a race of this size with a clear conscience. Basically, by this point in time, you had already gained some experience with the necessary measures in the outdoor area. Finally, there were findings that all bike parks had been open since late spring and there were sometimes enormous numbers of visitors. This meant that only a few points in the schedule and the set of rules had to be dealt with so that the hygiene and especially distance rules were observed. Despite the participation of over 230 athletes from 14 nations, there were no problems with avoiding the possibility of infection. The Rookies Cup in Steinach opened our racing season.

After the successful premiere of a downhill race during the Corona period, it quickly became clear that this did not have to be the only race. The only problem that had to be clarified was the question of the limited number of participants, which in the normal iXS Downhill Cup is significantly higher than that of the Rookies Cup. Steinach was definitely ready to hold another race and since the German championship had not been awarded with the cancellation of Willingen, this could be the solution. A DM within the framework of the iXS Cup and thus only with licensed athletes would save the most important race on German soil and at the same time limit the number of participants. After the financial side was clarified by a couple of partners and the BDR was very sympathetic to the whole thing, it was then at the end of September that the iXS Downhill Cup also got its chance and was able to make a performance in 2020.


In this way we were able to start the 2020 season, which is actually more likely to be forgotten, with the Rookies Online Bike School, the NotARace - iXS Cup Test Session, the Specialized RockShox Rookies Cup in Steinach and the German Championship as part of the iXS Downhill Cup in Steinach reasonably well and hope for a better year 2021. The planning for next year is already underway. We will publish another announcement about the forecast for the coming season in the next few days.

More than Racing

At this point we would like to thank our partners for their support over the past few years and also in these difficult times. Many thanks to iXS, Specialized, RockShox, Maxxis, Red Bull and BMO

In addition, we would like to mention the people involved who are behind the organization of the racing series and who guarantee the process: Mike, Christian, Thilo, Sebastian, Enrico, Marcus, Ralf, Rick, Katharina - Thank you very much for your commitment!

We continue saying: keep your distance, be sensible and stay healthy.