Fairclough and Pugin win latest round of European downhill cup

For the second-last race of the season, the iXS European Downhill Cup stopped in Châtel, France. About 200 riders from 24 countries took to the start and could enjoy a perfect race with great weather and a relaxed atmosphere.

Amongst the riders for round six of the series were the favourites in the overall rankings, like the leader Johann Potgieter (Canfield Factory Racing), as well as the second and third, Robin Wallner (Team Åre Bikepark) and Damien Spagnolo (MS Mondraker). On top, there were other big names that were traded as favourites. Brendan Fairclough (Scott 11) was back at the race stage, always a sure shot for the win. Mickael Pascal (CK Racing) already showed that he is a candidate for the podium in the first race of the season, where he came third. Florent Payet (SC-Intense) proved that he is in top form by finishing seventh in last week's world champs.

The race started Friday as Fairclough did the course check and commented on the 1.5km long course, dropping about 300m. Saturday's seeding run offered a first hint on who will be among the favourites for the win. Miriam Ruchti (SC-Intense) finished the day as fastest in the elite women, with Spagnolo as the fastest man.

The weather stayed brilliant for the finals, with no reminders on last year's race, when light snow was falling on the Sunday. The masters were the first to take on the course. The places on the podium were no different than in the seeding run, with Wilfred van de Haterd (YT Industries) winning the race and advancing his overall lead in the series. With a solid run he sent Henrik Karppinen (Pappa Betalar) to second place, while Marcel Waldmann (iXS Gravity Union) finished third.

The U17 promised a bit more excitement. Two British riders put the leader of the series, Marcus Hansson (Hanssonbil.se), under pressure, as Sam Herd (Perth City Cycles) and Taylor Vernon (FOX Scott Bike IT) were quite a bit faster. The times on Sunday were even faster, as Hansson shove off another five seconds of his time. But Miha Ivancic (KTD Avce) stayed in the lead with the fastest time till then, and Herd left nothing undone and came down the course in the fastest time again. But with coming third, Hanssen could defend his lead in the overall series and is already set as the overall winner. Ferdinand Brunold (Mag41.com Racing Team), second in the overall series, won't try to look back on the weekend. First he didn't finish on Saturday, losing valuable points, but Sunday turned out to be even worse for him. He showed up too late at the start, and added a DNS (did not start) to the DNF (did not finish) from Saturday.

The race in the elite women was as mixed. After Floriane Pugin (Scott 11) crashed in the seeding run on Saturday and took some speed of her run on Sunday, something similar happened to Miriam Ruchti on Sunday, and the Swiss rider decided not to start in the final. In the end Pugin won in 2:48.075, ahead of junior Tahnée Seagrave (FMD Racing) and Zarja Cernilogar (Crn trn GT). It couldn't have been a more ideal outcome to make the final in Todtnau as exciting and thrilling as it can be. Pugin (132 points) is currently in the lead, followed by Ruchti (128), Cernilogar (126) and Emmeline Ragot (MS Mondraker).

In the elite men, it was harder to trim down the favourites for the win to a few names, as the slightest mistake on the 2.5-minute course is unforgiving, meaning the end for winning the race. The Bike Park crew did their best in the morning to present a perfectly shaped course for the race. The course was challenging, with loads of pedalling needed in the first and last section, steep sections in the middle, technical with roots and rocky passages. The first serious contender for the win was Joshua Button (SC-Intense) who did a time that was three seconds faster than the fastest time on Saturday. He followed the race in the hot seat as one after another rider didn't manage to even equal his interim time.

The overall leader Johann Potgieter managed to come close to his time by two seconds, but had to settle on second place in the finish. He was followed by Florent Payet, who placed himself between the two. No one of the following riders was able to beat the time set by Button.

It was Fairclough who came close to it by 0.2 in the interim time. The clock stopped at 2:28.599 when he crossed the finish line, 0.05 faster than Button. It was only Spagnolo left on the course, and he was only a couple of tenths of a second behind at the interim time. But as he left the forest with 50m still to go the time had run out, and he finished 12th, five seconds behind with a dirty sleeve.

The final result was: Fairclough first, Button second, followed by Payet, Wallner and Potgieter. In the overall series, after taking the worst result off, Wallner leads with 488 points ahead of Potgieter (459) and Spagnolo (409). Markus Pekoll (MS Mondraker) still has a very outside chance finishing on the overall podium, but only if one of the three best riders should finish with a bad result in the last race.

The last race will take the iXS European Downhill Cup in two weeks' time in Todtnau, Germany.

Full Results

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Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Brendan Fairclough (GBr)0:02:28.59
2Joshua Button (Aus)0:00:00.06
3Florent Payet (Fra)0:00:01.04
4Robin Wallner (Swe)0:00:01.78
5Johann Potgieter (RSA)0:00:02.04
6Lars Peyer (Swi)0:00:02.66
7Mickael Pascal (Fra)0:00:03.64
8Billy Caroli (Swi)0:00:04.75
9Matthew Beer (Can)0:00:05.17
10Benjamin Verrier (Fra)0:00:05.41
11Benny Strasser (Ger)0:00:05.48
12Damien Spagnolo (Fra)0:00:05.60
13Rudolf Biedermann (Swi)0:00:05.75
14Roman Roschi (Swi)0:00:06.07
15Stefan Garlicki (RSA)0:00:06.19
16Noel Niederberger (Swi)0:00:06.36
17Dominik Gspan (Swi)0:00:06.39
18Lee Huskinson (GBr)0:00:07.04
19Ian Schaad (Swi)0:00:07.18
20Benjamin Staehle (Fra)0:00:07.52
21Jonty Neethling (RSA)0:00:07.65
22Charles Cannonne (Fra)0:00:07.81
23Felix Klee (Swi)0:00:07.93
24Samuel Zbinden (Swi)0:00:07.97
25Ales Virtic (Slo)0:00:08.14
26Adi Van Der Merwe (RSA)0:00:08.25
27Erik Irmisch (Ger)0:00:08.67
28Andreas Schafer (Swi)0:00:09.31
29Joel Gebbie (GBr)0:00:09.45
30Fabian Bieli (Swi)0:00:09.92
31Patrik Deuss (Swi)0:00:09.94
32Gael Pecoul (Fra)0:00:09.96
33Josh Lowe (GBr)0:00:10.39
34Rom Devouassoux (Fra)0:00:11.27
35Simon Parsons (GBr)0:00:11.55
36Antoine Bagnoud (Swi)0:00:11.70
37Goel Wirz (Swi)0:00:12.23
38Mads Weidemann (Den)Row 37 - Cell 2
39Quentin Geromin (Fra)0:00:12.26
40Patrik Kuster (Swi)Row 39 - Cell 2
41Alexandre Blardone (Fra)0:00:12.28
42Tim Kaelin (Swi)0:00:12.57
43Peter Mlinar (Slo)0:00:12.77
44Fabian Heim (Ger)0:00:12.87
45Nicolau Alemany Suau (Spa)0:00:12.99
46Felipe Andres Saenz Anabalon (Chi)0:00:13.04
47Fabio Jungen (Swi)0:00:13.13
48Fabian Fader (Ger)0:00:13.18
49Stefan Hofmeier (Swi)0:00:13.21
50Jerome Bouchet (Swi)0:00:13.34
51Max Fischer (Ger)0:00:13.48
52Philipp Bünnemann (Ger)0:00:13.63
53Gregory Brunache (Fra)0:00:13.71
54Martin Kägi (Swi)0:00:13.74
55Romain Burnier (Swi)0:00:13.84
56Vincent Bezencon (Swi)0:00:14.04
57Mark Van Lankveld (Ned)Row 56 - Cell 2
58Nicolas Cherik (Swi)0:00:14.10
59Valentyn Popov (Ukr)0:00:14.13
60Jonathan Nufer (Swi)0:00:14.39
61Markus Planitzer (Aut)0:00:14.85
62Erich Wieland (Aut)0:00:14.92
63Julien Rosse (Swi)0:00:14.96
64Christoph Schnettler (Ger)0:00:15.09
65Vito Tschenett (Swi)0:00:15.11
66Michael Bischoff (Swi)0:00:15.12
67Severin Disch (Swi)0:00:15.51
68Fabian Kuttel (Swi)0:00:15.65
69Florian Müller (Swi)0:00:16.16
70Sebastian Jensen (Den)0:00:16.73
71Tim Moniot (Fra)0:00:16.89
72Jamie Carruthers (GBr)0:00:17.63
73Oliver Kunz (Ger)0:00:18.29
74Simon Brum (Fra)0:00:18.36
75Christoff Van Driessche (Bel)0:00:18.43
76Kevin Frisch (Aut)0:00:18.68
77Mehdi Lorenz (Swi)0:00:19.04
78Balz Weber (Swi)0:00:19.49
79Matthieu Astier (Fra)0:00:20.18
80Ben Williamson (GBr)Row 79 - Cell 2
81Ramun Tschenett (Swi)0:00:20.42
82Marco Heim (Swi)0:00:21.05
83Marc Mitscherick (Ger)0:00:21.81
84Petr Kantorek (Cze)0:00:21.98
85Quentin Deloye (Fra)0:00:22.24
86Simon Robe (Fra)0:00:22.38
87Dominic Tinner (Swi)0:00:23.30
88Daniel Blosse (Ger)0:00:24.09
89Faustin Figaret (Fra)0:00:24.34
90Adrian Uebelhart (Swi)0:00:24.85
91Filippo Toni (Ita)0:00:24.92
92Urs Pargmann (Swi)0:00:24.99
93Lukas Aeschlimann (Swi)0:00:25.06
94Serge Brun (Swi)0:00:25.45
95Thomas Kolb (Ger)0:00:25.90
96Gavin Duke (GBr)0:00:26.34
97Alex Hinnen (Swi)0:00:26.43
98Diego Gempeler (Swi)0:00:26.89
99Benjamin Bernardi (Fra)0:00:27.22
100Jérémy Baud (Fra)0:00:27.54
101Dominik Mai (Ger)0:00:28.95
102Rubau Dani (Spa)0:00:29.49
103Peter Irwin (GBr)0:00:30.37
104Moritz Link (Ger)0:00:30.85
105Jan-Phillip Strehl (Ger)0:00:31.83
106Per Tautorat (Ger)0:00:33.18
107Petr Mondrik (Cze)0:00:33.54
108David Rubin (Swi)0:00:35.34
109Ken Zimmermann (Swi)0:00:37.91
110Mark Hoffmann (Ger)0:00:40.31
111Vladimir Milanov (Rus)0:00:40.59
112Matthieu Mellet (Fra)0:00:40.71
113Miguel Mauri (Spa)0:00:40.94
114Yannik Fejfar (Ger)0:00:41.48
115Andre Adzigildiev (Ger)0:00:54.18
116Miran Vauh (Slo)0:00:59.34
117Alexandr Zubenko (Kaz)0:00:59.57
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Floriane Pugin (Fra)0:02:48.07
2Tahnee Seagrave (GBr)0:00:03.01
3Zarja Cernilogar (Slo)0:00:08.47
4Martina Bruehlmann (Swi)0:00:13.13
5Alba Wunderlin (Swi)0:00:24.33
6Špela Horvat (Slo)0:00:24.83
7Laura Guillaume (Fra)0:00:31.52
8Rosie Smith (GBr)0:00:35.07


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