Building a Competitive Base of Downhill Racers at the iXS DH Cup

Let's be honest: downhill racing is the best sport in the world. We all love the excitement of the DH World Cup. But racing at the top requires a strong foundation - and this are local races like the iXS Downhill Cup. Here the stars of tomorrow are born and here every biker can compete with his buddies and other like-minded racer. In the latest episode of iXS Trail Stories, we therefore take a look behind the scenes of the legendary iXS Downhill Cup race in Ilmenau.

Constant rain, 8° C, and ankle-deep mud - what sounds like fall is actually a morning in mid-June. You don't really want to go out in this weather. But it doesn't help, it's Thursday and the Racement crew is just parking two sprinters backwards on the finishing slope of the legendary downhill course in Ilmenau to start setting up for the iXS Downhill Cup race at the weekend. In the days and weeks beforehand, members of the local bike club have already put their heart and soul into building the track and taking care of all the infrastructure.

Before a race weekend gets down to business, the entire infrastructure must first be set up.
An important part of every race, the display board under the finish arch. Wutzi and Maxi from Racement don't let a little rain spoil their mood.


The local organiser is responsible for building and taping the course. A downhill race could not be organised without a large number of volunteers. THANK YOU ALL for that!


Racement is the company that takes care of the organisation and implementation of the iXS Cups in the background. The race in Ilmenau is a real home game for them, as they have their company headquarters on site. During the race season, however, the team is hardly ever at home, instead travelling all over Europe for the various race series of the iXS Downhill Cup. Always with the mission of offering all racers a professional infrastructure for their competition - regardless of whether they are weekend warriors or aspiring World Cup athletes.

Racement takes care of the professional timekeeping throughout the weekend.

The infrastructure and fixed routines not only guarantee a fun race weekend for all participants, this consistency is also important for aspiring professionals to gain experience. What is important on track walks? How do I focus on my qualifying run? What details do I pay attention to during the last training session before the race? All these and countless other aspects also play a major role in the iXS Downhill Cup races. However, the fun and family atmosphere at the races is at least as important - after all, not everyone wants to become a Pro Racer. "On the track you're competitors, but in the paddock you're friends and help each other, and that's what makes the races so special," says Moni Gasbichler. You race against the clock, not against other athletes.

Where is the best line? There's also a trackwalk at the iXS Downhill Cup races and despite the supposed competition, riders give each other tips here.


Unique to Ilmenau - the fan corner!


The two fastest women in World Cup racing at the moment both have their roots in the iXS Cup: Vali Höll and Nina Hoffmann. We met Nina at the side of the track in Ilmenau. She herself says: "If we wouldn't have these races, there would be no pro racers. You definitely need the base to build the peak."

iXS Downhill Cups - the place where you celebrate your friend's success more than your own.


We at iXS are proud to have been developing this base for the sport in Europe for more than 20 years. For us, the iXS Downhill Cup races are more than just a stepping stone to the World Cup. They are the place where you carry your bike over the mud out of love after washing it, only to destroy the rear wheel on a root the next day. Where the smell of barbecue mingles with the scent of tyre sealant. Where you duel with friends on the track and then celebrate each other's victory despite losing. They are the place where downhill racing has its home base - the place we love!

You want more iXS Trail Stories? Check out our first episode, how the Team of Freeride Madeira shaped more than trails on an island.. In the second Episode, we visited Patagonia and found out, how the locals there crafted a new mtb dream destination.

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