iXS DHC 2023 Season Finals

Preview Bellwald

For many years Bellwald has been the final race of the iXS Downhill Cup. After last year's break due to the construction of the new cable car, the high altitude venue returns to the calendar and welcomes around 350 athletes this weekend for the crowning finale of the season.

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Bellwald has been a long-time companion of the iXS Downhill Cup. Already in 2007, a race of the series was held there for the first time. The bike park of the small mountain village high up in the beautiful Valais offers a demanding full-gas course that, with a length of 2,200 metres and an altitude difference of 400 metres, will once again demand everything from the participants. With some jumps and several technical sections, the track is perfect for the season finale.

Track Walk - DHC Bellwald 2021_9.jpg

The weather is usually quite good there at this time, which is why the organisers choose this date every year. But to be honest, we can also remember races with snow. This year, however, the weather manager seems to be doing his job quite satisfactorily again, because the forecast is late summer.

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The fact that the weather forecast is like this naturally plays into the organisers' cards, because there is a lot more on offer besides the race. The parties in Bellwald are legendary and will go on until the early hours of the morning on both Friday and Saturday. They start on both days directly at the finish area, before it continues from midnight in the bunker. Certainly, the target group here is less the field of riders, after all, they have to concentrate on racing. But all those travelling with you are invited to end the season in style. But there is also some sporting fun to be had away from the race track, as the pumptrack race starts at 5.30 p.m. on Saturday.

For better orientation click here to the Area Map.

A look at the tableau of the overall standings suggests an extremely exciting race weekend. Currently, former cross-country rider Thore Hemmerling (GER) leads the Elite Men class by a narrow margin over Erik Irmisch (GER - YT Racing Dudes), with a lead of 71 points after subtraction of the worst result. It will be interesting to see whether the two will settle this between them or whether Jannik Abbou (GER - DH Talent Team) will be able to intervene in the end. His chances are almost theoretical, as he is 187 points behind (adjusted), but can only collect a maximum of 220 points if he wins both races.

Thore Hemmerling -  DHC Bad Tabarz 2023.jpg Thore Hemmerling

In the elite women's class it looks like Lea Kumpf (GER - DH Talent Team) will win, as she leads with 378 points. Only Justine Welzel (GER) could still do something about it with 84 points behind. Lea Stornebel (GER) is behind with 253 points, Roos ob de Beeck (BEL - DC Team) with 247 points and Harriet Rücknagel (GER - RAD-ART) with 241 points. Thus, the third place of the podium distribution is still hard-fought and all three have a chance for it. A look at the entry list shows, however, that there are other names who want to have a say in the day's victory. For example, the newly crowned Norwegian champion Kine Haugom (NOR - Haugom Racing Team) could take her first international elite victory. But Delphine Bulliard (SUI - Verbier Racing) or Ramona Laura Kupferschmied (SUI - Swiss MTB Pro Team) could also have hopes of winning. However, the older generation will probably rate Lea Rutz (SUI - Specialized Enduro Team Switzerland) highly, as the Swiss rider, who has now converted to enduro, has already won in Bellwald once in 2016 and 2017.

Lea Kumpf - DHC Winterberg 2023.jpg Lea Kumpf

In any case, it will be exciting and the atmosphere will be very appropriate for the occasion. The organiser expects 2000 spectators and with the impressive landscape has a perfect panorama for the end of the season.