iXS European Downhill Cup #6

Preview: Brandnertal

The 2019 World Cup season is in the books and now it’s time to crown the European Cup champions! For the second time the bike park in Brandnertal, Austria, is going to host the final race of the iXS European Downhill Cup season.

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We are currently racing towards the end of the downhill season and the different iXS series will come to an end with the finals. The last race of the EDC once more invites you all to Brandnertal, where about 200 riders from 26 different nations will fight for this year's title one last time.

The bike park track has been modified last season and some new sections have been added. With 3000 meters in length and an overall 300-meter descend the track is more than just qualified for the final round of the European Cup and provides loads of action. Is there a better place to crown the European champions 2019?

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The weather

In previous years, summer usually came to an end right on time for the last race, confronting the riders with rather wet and unpleasant conditions in the finals. At the moment the forecast said the weather should hold until Monday. Fingers crossed!

Wetter Brandnertal

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Favorites

Of course the most important question before the final race of the season is always the same: who will take the title this time? Let’s have a look at the odds-on favourites and their overall standings!

In the Elite Men category Constantin Ruetsch (SUI - iXS Gravity Union) will try to defend his lead towards his strongest rivals Christopher Philogene (RSA - 2 Bros Racing), Luka Berginc (SLO - KK Črn Trn / Blackthorn) and Romain Croz (FRA - Arc Mountain Bike Club) and. But even though it seems the crown will be awarded to one of the four, there are a number of riders who are eager to make the podium, e.g. Davide Palazzari (ITA - Scout Nukeproof) or Luca Henzi (SUI - Hot-Trail Racing). Unfortunately Erik Irmisch (GER - Team Racing Dudes), currently in second, will not be able to fight for the title, reasoned by some health problems.

Standings before Bellwald

Lea Rutz (SUI - iXS Gravity Union) delivered an outstanding season so far. With 608 points in the standings and three times on the podium in the EDC it seems she is the odds-on favorite for the title. But there is another name in the list. Veronika Widmann (ITA - Insync Racing) had a great year, with the third place in the UCI ranking she officially belongs to the world’s top downhill riders. After five times on the World Cup podium and two times on the top step in the EDC she delivered the best season of her career so far. Definitely she has the chance to crown the season with the European Cup title. Nevertheless also Alessia Missiagia (ITA - Team Zanolini Bike) won't make it too easy for Rutz and Widmann to get the title.

Veronika Widmann - iXS EDC Veronika Widmann at the EDC #3 in Abetone, Italien © Rick Schubert

Are you in for some race action? A great atmosphere and great people? Then Brandnertal is definitely worth a trip! See you there!

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Review 2018

Podium Overall 2018 Elite Men Elite Women
1. Place Joshua Barth (GER) Monika Hrastnik (SLO)
2. Place Bryn Dickerson (NZL) Nina Hoffmann (GER)
3. Place Stanislav Sehnal (ZCE) Sandra Rübesam (GER)

Here is the highlight video from last year’s round: