The season unleashes the stars of tomorrow
A perfect start of the season
Every year, the Bikepark Winterberg transforms into an impressive backdrop for spectacular action in a wide range of mountain bike disciplines. At the first iXS Downhill Cup of the 2023 season, the newly built track was really put to the test by over 500 riders. The race was accompanied by thousands of fans, who enjoyed the Dirt Masters Festival to the fullest over the weekend.
Training on Friday
The downhill track was newly designed by the Dirtworks team and included some really difficult sections. The weather was over the weekend quite in the sense of the riders*innen. It was sunny with light wind and pleasant temperatures. Thus, the track was dry and already relatively well run in, as more than 200 rookies had already completed their race on the track on Thursday. The training was very busy, as more than 500 riders wanted to complete as many laps as possible.
Qualification on Saturday
On Saturday, as always, there was the qualifying for the starting positions on race day. A big surprise was delivered there by the American Evan Medcalf (Evolve Racing). He rides in the Pro U19 male category and was able to collect the best time of the day on this day. He was just under a tenth faster than Oisin O Callaghan, who took first place in the Elite Men class in the qualification. That's quite an achievement for such a young rider. In the women's race, Nina Hoffmann lived up to her role as favorite and held her own with a lead of more than six seconds.
Race on Sunday
What does a perfect race day look like? Just like last Sunday in Winterberg! Sunshine, 20 degrees, good mood and a great atmosphere on the last day of the Dirt Masters Festival. The riders were highly motivated and this was also noticeable in their race runs. One best time after the other was achieved. In the end it was very close for Oisin O Callaghan from the Elite Men class, because he unfortunately only placed second. At the top of the podium was Phillipp Atwill (GBR - Propain Positive) who was two seconds faster than Oisin.
In the Elite Women the American Anna Newkirk (Beyond Racing) was able to reduce the lead of Nina Hoffmann. However, it was not quite enough for Anna to take first place. Nina Hoffmann was thus able to take the victory in Winterberg. In third place on this day was Sian A'hern from Australia from YT MOB.
A hell of a weekend
The first race of the season at the iXS Dirt Masters Festivals was a really gnarly race. On the intense weekend, the riders could not really relax. The large expo area offered them over 100 exhibitors with many test bikes, goodies, stickers and autographs from international stars of the scene. There were also many highlight events and the Music Masters in the evening. So there was plenty of fun and party in any case.
The iXS Downhill Cup goes into the second round on May 26 in Willingen. The German championship will also be held there. There should be a really interesting race, as more international top riders* will be at the start. However, we still have to wait a few days until the Bike Festival in Willingen starts. But then it's definitely full throttle again for the iXS Downhill Cup 2023!
See you later Downhill-gator