Changes afoot for 2012 as the UCI announces the iXS European Downhill Cup has been recognised as the official UCI European Series.
Here’s the official blurb from the iXS guys:
There has been a World Cup series for two decades now and its value is priceless, despite some ups and downs. Without a doubt, not everything is perfect but the success story can only be continued through a constructive partnership.
And that’s exactly what the iXS Downhill Series organisation is trying to capitalise on by continuously expanding the cooperation. It is, furthermore, taking advantage of the opportunity to provide the UCI with important grass-roots input – in other words from competitors, teams and, of course, the individual venues – based on the experience gained from putting on up to 20 races a year in order to reach a general consensus.
In this context an important step for the future was gaining official UCI European Series status for the iXS European Downhill Cup. In the final analysis the UCI is gaining a partner who has been actively involved in the sport for 10 years and has generated unbroken success for the Downhill discipline not only at national level in Switzerland and Germany but also at continental level.
Peter van den Abeele, Off-Road Disciplines Manager, says in this regard: “We are pleased to have such a reliable partner who has been working for many years to continuously improve race events in accordance with UCI wishes and is further developing mass audience awareness of the sport through targeted PR work.”
Andreas Stöckli, event manager at iXS Sports Division, is also very positive about the close partnership: “Recognition of our Cup as the official UCI Europe Series confirms the significance we’ve developed together with our race organisers over the last four years. The goal was to create a prestigious series located between the World Cup and the national race series to thus provide athletes with an easier but nevertheless professional means of entering the world elite.”
Next year the iXS European Downhill Cup will be held in seven different countries, taking place at top level venues offering the relevant country’s most challenging courses. 2011 saw a high media profile being achieved, for example the five half-hour reports broadcast by Red Bull’s in-house TV channel Servus TV.
Last season saw 2 570 competitors from 41 countries at the starting lines of the various iXS Downhill Series. In this context the European Cup is focusing more strongly on top world professionals, as confirmed by the participation of major teams. Among others, many names from UCI elite teams appeared on the start lists, including world rank Top 20 riders such as Troy Brosnan (AUS), Brook MacDonald (NZL), Cameron Cole (NZL), Markus Pekoll (AUT), Brendan Fairclough (GBR) and Florent Payet (FRA). In order to further increase attractiveness for top class international riders there are plans to raise the media profile even more and to adjust the rules to reflect top athletes’ needs more. All additional information is available at ixsdownhillcup.com, which this season has, to date, been accessed 274 095 times by 93 498 unambiguous visitors.
iXS 2012 European Downhill Cup dates:
- 28.-29.04.2012 Rivera – Monte Tamaro (SUI)
- 26.-27.05.2012 Leogang (AUT)
- 16.-17.06.2012 Innerleithen (GBR)
- 04.-05.08.2012 Pila (ITA)
- 11.-12.08.2012 Špičák (CZE)
- 08.-09.09.2012 Châtel (FRA)
- 22.-23.09.2012 Todtnau (GER)