Buone notizie per l’European Series di downhill. UCI e iXS collaboreranno per il 2012 al fine di istituire una serie ufficiale per la coppa europea. Peter van den Abeele, responsabile delle discipline off-road per l’UCI e Andreas Stöckli, event manager dell’iXS Sport Division hanno a lungo discusso in questi giorni sul futuro del downhill internazionale. La decisione è stata quella di istituire un partenariato tra le due associazioni. Per il 2012, dunque, l’European Series sarà un circuito ufficiale UCI. Il 2011 è stata una stagione fenomenale per la serie, infatti hanno preso parte alle gare più di 2570 concorrenti provenienti da 41 paesi. In questo contesto la coppa europa si sta affermando sempre più come un circuito di importanza rilevante. Sicuramente il nuovo partenariato è una scelta importante per il futuro del downhill internazionale e probabilmente vedremo anche dei risvolti per la nuova nata DH1.
Nel 2012 le gare della European Series si svolgeranno in sette diversi paesi europei. Eccovi le località e le date:
28-29 Aprile Rivera – Monte Tamaro (Svizzera)
26-27 Maggio Leogang (Austria)
16-17 Giugno Innerleithen (Regno Unito)
04-05 Agosto Pila (Italia)
11-12 Agosto Špičák (Repubblica Ceca)
08-09 Settembre Châtel (Francia)
22-23 Settembre Todtnau (Germania)
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The iXS Downhill Cup organization has been working very closely with the UCI for several years now. This cooperation has now been strengthened even further with the iXS European Downhill Cup recognized as the official UCI European Series.
A number of UCI decisions have received a lot of coverage from a wide range of media recently and there has been much discussion about the sport’s future. Even if the reasons behind developments are not 100 percent clear to laymen, it should be emphasized that the International Cycling Union has done a lot for the Downhill discipline in recent years. 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 organization is trying to capitalize 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.