Kumpf and Hemmerling are the overall winners
Bellwald, located at 1,600 metres above sea level, was already the venue of an iXS Downhill Cup in 2007, and for several years now it has been the series' befitting finale. This year, the beautiful place in the Valais once again marked the end of the season and almost 400 riders from 18 nations came together. After a year of abstinence due to the construction of a new cable car, the participants seemed to be extremely looking forward to the track. The high number of registrations alone is indicative of the popularity of the course.
The course started at an altitude of about 2,000 metres on a specially built ramp from the roof of a restaurant. The speed set up there was a good foretaste of what was to follow. High speed was the motto of the weekend. But the 2.2-kilometre course also included some highly technical sections. The topic of conversation among the drivers was certainly the stone field or the two road gaps. But basically it was just an extremely fun track, but also a very demanding one, especially because of the high speed.
Frank Hedwig with Highspeed
The infrastructure of the bike park, which now includes six trails, is perfect for a race and also worth a visit away from it. The waiting time at the lift was a bit longer on Friday, but also bearable due to the late summer weather. The four hours of free practice were used to rehearse the course and test out the first lines.
Saturday started with optimal conditions again. Now it was time for the participants to consolidate the selected lines, find the right braking points and prepare mentally for the seeding run. After midday, the timed runs started, giving the first indications of the possible outcome of the race. Fastest in the Elite Men class was Simon Maurer (GER - Schornsteinfeger Maurer) with a time of 3:26.402 minutes. Thore Hemmerling (GER) rode to a solid fifth place and thus increased his lead in the overall standings. In the Elite Women's class, Kine Haugom (NOR - Haugom Racing Team) secured the best time and thus the last starting place on Sunday. Once again, however, U17 rider Eliana Hulsebosch (NZL - TLD, Hyperformance Hardware) caused a surprise, as she set the fastest time of the day among all women, as she did in Verbier.
The ex cross country rider Thore Hemmerling
And then came Sunday with the grand final. In the meantime, the track had suffered extremely from the summer conditions. The holes became even bigger and more and more dust collected on the course. Everyone checked their lines again in the morning and by noon at the latest the finish area was filling up.
The first licensed class to start was the Pro Masters. Fastest of the day was Jelle Hemelsoen (BEL - Loose Riders). In the following Pro U17 class, the newly crowned iXS International Rookies Champion Tyler Waite (NZL - 100%, Pirelli) secured a commanding victory with a time of 3:27:870 minutes. This time would have placed him third in the Elite Men class.
Tyler Waite from Newzealand
The Elite Women class was fiercely contested, although the overall standings were pretty much set after the seeding run. In the end, the new Norwegian Champion prevailed once again and the winner was Kine Haugom. Behind her was Jolanda Kiener (SUI - Hot-Trail Gravity), while Delia Da Mocogno (SUI - BiXS Factory Team) took third place and proved her quality with an enduro bike. However, a look at the results list revealed that Eliana Hulsebosch also managed to set the best time of the day this time and was the fastest female participant with a time of 4:03.517 minutes and a lead of 3 seconds over Haugom. The overall classification went to Lea Kumpf (GER - DH Talent Team), followed by European Cup winner Justine Welzel (GER) and Roos op de Beeck (BEL - DC Team).
Eliana Hulsebosch should be on your radar for the future
In the Pro U19 class, Florian Peters (GER - Fahrrad Eberhardt Racing) took the lead by just three tenths of a second. Second was Max Becker (GER - Ronmanshow Racing), who thus won the series classification. Fridolin Amiguet (SUI - Blackmetaulshapers) was third.
In the Elite Men class, several good riders thought they had a chance to win. However, the whole thing was almost like playing the lottery. Some of the riders had to pay tribute to the conditions and buried their ambitions in the dust of Bellwald. In the end, the fastest rider in the seeding run won again and repeated his success from the last race in Bellwald, when he secured the German championship title. Thus the day's winner was Simon Maurer, who relegated Yannick Baechler (SUI - Scott DH Factory) to second place by just seven tenths of a second. Cédric Taillefer (FRA - TROTRX) completed the podium in third place. In the overall ranking, fifth place was enough for Thore Hemmerling to win the series. Second place went to Erik Irmisch (GER - YT Racing Dudes). Third place went to Jannik Abbou (GER - DH Talent Team). This was the end of this year's iXS Cup season in Switzerland, where it was launched in 2003. The race was a finale that could not have gone better and was the perfect advertisement for downhill sport.
Simon Maurer after his race run
This marked the end of this year's iXS Cup season in Switzerland, where it was launched in 2003. The race was a finale that could not have gone better and was the perfect advertisement for the downhill sport.