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The second half of the season of the iXS European Downhill Cup commences with the fourth stop in Pila/Italy. The bike park already has a long tradition in the downhill discipline; in 2005, the World Cup stopped in the Aosta Valley. This is the third time in sequence that an iXS race is held there.

The course, with 2600 metres in length and 520 metres in altitude difference, was designed by Corrado Herin, just as in the last large events. This name should be known to everyone. After all, he is one of the mountain bike sports legends. An active sportsman for more than twenty years, he won innumerable Italian champion's titles as well as the 1997 World Cup. It is hardly surprising that the participants are always facing a very special course and everything looks much like World Cup there.

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The starting list is just as remarkable as the local situation. About 350 riders from 27 nations have already signed up for the race. Of course, the MS Mondraker team is among them, whose members hold the first three places of the overall ranking after the first three rounds of the series already. On place one, there is the winner of the last World Cup in Val d'Isère, Brook MacDonald (NZL), with just a few points before Damien Spagnolo (FRA) and Markus Pekoll (AUT). Swedish champion Robin Wallner (SWE - Team Åre Bikepark) and Ruaridh Cunningham (GBR - Alpine Bike Racing) are just a few pints behind them. However, no clear favourite can be designed yet after only three of seven races. Other great names in the list of participants include Florent Payet (FRA - SC Intense), the winner of last year's race in Pila, Ben Reid (IRL - Dirt Norco Race Team) and multiple Italian champion Lorenzo Suding (ITA - Pila Black Arrows). Of course, the Elite Women class will be just as exciting. After all, more than 20 women signed up for the race. The final result in this class is just as unknown. However, current World Champion Emmeline Ragot (FRA - MS Mondraker) will surely collect valuable points for the overall ranking in Pila again as well.

If you want to enjoy top sports performance in addition to the unique landscape and an incredible view, come to Pila next weekend. Anyone should know that an Italian bicycle race is something very special. After all, no nation is more enthusiastic about cycling. Have a look at the maps. Pila (near Aosta) is located at the three-country-triangle of Switzerland/Italy/France. Therefore, it is quite easy to reach. The weather seems to become just as perfect as it was last year, leaving no obstacles in the way of the next highlight of the iXS European Downhill Cup. Check out ixsdownhillcup.com for the precise schedule and more information. Of course, you can also find the most important news up to date at facebook.com/ixs.downhill.cup.

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