iXS Downhill Cup, Chatel

Nick Beer and Floriane Pugin were the winners of the second-to-last race of the European downhill series. A total of close to 300 riders participated at the race in Châtel. Portes du Soleil’s bike mecca welcomed riders from 18 countries with a perfectly organized event that featured top-level sport.

 The Bike Patrol course was already considered as one of the toughest of the series, and despite some modifications that was no different at 2009’s edition. Due to the revised trajectory the course became even faster, making it more demanding for all riders and very interesting for the spectators. And for once even the weather was absolutely perfect, so all riders could rely on the same conditions allowing for fast runs.

 Floriane Pugin

Floriane Pugin

In the seeding run it already showed that the fight for the podium spots would be tight. Nathan Rankin (NZL – Iron Horse Playbiker) managed to get the right to start last in the finals. Due to a slight mistake, Nick Beer (SUI – Scott 11) posted the second fastest seeding time, but he still earned valuable points for the series’ overall where Benny Strasser (GER – iXS/Toxoholics) had been in the lead after Leogang’s race.

The Elite men category’s result in the final resembled last year’s result a lot, as Beer managed to distance Nathan Rankin by two seconds. At 22 years of age, Beer is currently ranked fifth in the world ranking, thus took over the lead in the series’ overall as well, proving his qualities once again and showing that he has closed the gap to the world’s elite riders this season. Third place went to Pierre Charles Georges (FRA – Solid AClass) who has proven that he is well capable of finishing within the Worldcup’s top20 positions recently.

 Nick Beer

Nick Beer

The podium in the elite women’s race was an all-french affair: Reigning European champion Floriane Pugin (FRA – Kenda), beating her compatriot Sabrina Jonnier (FRA – Maxxis / Rocky Mountain) for the victory. Jonnier had been teh fastest in the seeding run, but only by six tenth of a second. Finishing in third was Caroline Sax (FRA – Geko Bike). France’s successful work regarding young talents also showed in the junior women’s category: Laura Lohner (FRA – VTT Morillon) won the race ahead of Tahnée Seagrave ( GBR – Intense) and Leoni Dickerhoff (GER – iXS/Toxoholics).

With 45 starters, the junior men’s category boasted a strong field and was won by Florian Arthus (FRA – Clic Chambéry Savoie) who narrowly beat Marius Paccolat (SUI – Verbier Bike Team) and Alexandre Lohner (FRA – VTT Morillon). The master’s category was won by Heins Hostettler (SUI – BikeBandit.ch), with frequent podium finishers Markus Bast (GER – NOX Cycles) and Marcel Waldmann (SUI – DT Swiss/iXS) taking the other podium spots.

Already after the series’ third race the summary is very positive, as the series has been firmly established on the racing calendar and the number of high-profile riders participating is steadily rising. The fact that the number of participants in the junior men’s category is also growing is another plus as iXS Sports Division as main sponsor has always put an emphasis on promoting young talent. The series’ finals will be held on 12th/13th September in Bischofsmais, Germany.


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