Team CRC at Pila IXS Cup

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Team ChainReactionCycles.com/Nukeproof riders Matti Lehikoinen, Matt Simmonds and Joe Smith competed in the iXS European Downhill Cup in Pila, Italy, over the weekend in preparation for the upcoming UCI World Cup round in Val Di Sole.

Team ChainReactionCycles.com/Nukeproof riders Matti Lehikoinen, Matt Simmonds and Joe Smith competed in the iXS European Downhill Cup in Pila, Italy, over the weekend in preparation for the upcoming UCI World Cup round in Val Di Sole.

With 337 competitors from 26 countries, the race was the most international of the series to date, and the course also had all the makings for a World Cup event. Pila has been well-known in the mountain biking community far beyond Italy’s borders since long before it hosted the World Cup in 2005, so it wasn’t a total surprise when iXS selected it as the venue for a leg of the European Series.


Pics Thomas Dietze

The bike park in the Aosta Valley has a perfect infrastructure and former professional cyclist Corrado Herin designed a world quality course for this year’s race. The dry, extremely dusty conditions made the track very slippery and even more challenging. The names on the registration list already promised that the race would be top class but the atmosphere would still have been very special despite this – the Italians are, after all, known the world over for their love of cycling. The high level of media and camera coverage was particularly striking too – there was even a camera helicopter circling over the course. Conditions were thus perfect for the penultimate leg of the European Cup.

Lewis Buchanan recorded the fastest time in the seeding runs, ahead of Cameron Cole (NZL – Lapierre) and Joshua Button (AUS – SC-Intense).

Unfortunately Lewis couldn’t repeat his time in seeding for Sunday’s race and with a crash he ended up in 12th position but only 4.5 seconds down on the winning time. Matti Lehikoinen had a solid run, finishing sixth, just 1.5seconds off the winning time of Florent Payet.


Pics Thomas Dietze

Joe Smith also had a good run finishing eighth, only 2.8 seconds off the win.

Matt Simmonds had a solid run too, but rode "too smooth and steady" – not the type of on-the-edge riding that you need for a podium position, finishing in 16th just over five seconds off the fastest time.


Pics Thomas Dietze

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