The third race of the European Downhill Champions League takes the Downhill Elite to Schladming this weekend. 400 riders from 29 countries registered for the race and can’t wait to return to one of the world’s most popular race tracks!
Schladming will be hosting the iXS European Downhill Cup for the fourth time this year and it has been enriching the cup ever since it returned to Downhill discipline after focusing on Alpine Ski for a while. Clearly, as a former World Cup track, Schladming deserves a spot on the international downhill stage and we are glad that it found its perfect match with the iXS European Downhill Cup.
The chapter concerning Schladming in Brendon Fairclough’s movie “Death Grip” is called “The Best Track Ever“. This perfectly sums up the opinion of many riders of the downhill elite. 2500 meter in length covering 600 meters of descend definitely call for extreme speed and suspense. Curious? If you want to have a look at the best track ever, check out last year’s course check by Laurie Greenland (GBR – MS Mondraker).
Looking back at the first two races this season you cannot miss Jure Zabjek’s (SLO – Unior Tools Team) name. With best times in both seedings and both race runs, he took all the points he could get for the overall rankings and seems to be heading straight for the title this season. At the moment Stanislav Sehnal (CZE – Banshee Bikes Factory Team) and Ondrej Stepanek (CZE – CTM Racing Team) are Zabjek’s strongest competitors and they won’t give up that fast. After all there are still some races on the agenda! In general, the lists of the upcoming races are filled with some big names of the downhill elite, including David Trummer (AUT – Propain Dirt Zelvy), Harry Molloy (GBR – FS Patrol Funn), Ziga Pandur (SLO – Unior Tools Team) and Basil Weber (SUI – Team Project).
More than 20 riders registered for the female categories. Monika Hrastnik (SLO – Blackthorn) currently sits atop the rankings, but her competitors can’t wait to take over the lead. European champion Eleonora Farina (ITA – GB Rifar Mondraker) and last year’s winner Veronika Widmann (ITA – FS Patrol Funn) are only two names among many fast and talented riders in the category. Sara Böhm (GER – Team Cube) currently holds the second place in the rankings and seems to be the rising star of the German Downhill scene.
Schladming offers unique scenery with its finish area, which makes it the perfect place for the EDC. However, as the EDC is only one part of the Gravity Games at the bike park Planai, there will of course be a lot more action and loads of activities surrounding the race. With a Whip Off Contest, the Dual Slalom race, barbecues, expo music and party the Festival promises a great weekend for both riders and visitors.