Results, impressions and GoPro action from the iXS European Downhill Cup race in Leogang
Round 2 of the iXS European Downhill Cup produced some scintillating riding, with 416 competitors from 27 nations competing in an amazing weekend of racing.
Greg Minnaar (RSA - Santa Cruz Syndicate) won the men's race, with Steve Smith (CAN - Devinci Global Racing) in second and Brook MacDonald (NZL - MS Mondraker Team) in third.
Rachel Atherton (GBR - GT Factory Racing) was fastest in the women's category.
In the elite men's, Gee Atherton (GBR - GT Factory Racing) opened the final on Sunday. Due to a fall in the seeding run in the forest in the upper half of the track he only qualified as 285th and had to accept an early starting place.
However he was already two seconds ahead of the best time from the previous day in the interim time, finishing in 3.25.
He was leading until Brook MacDonald (NZL - MS Mondraker Team) took to the course. Still a second behind in the interim time, the Kiwi gained momentum in the lower half and finished first.
He was followed by Damien Spagnolo (FRA - MS Mondraker Team), who just missed out to his team-mate.
Next up on the course was Greg Minnaar (RSA - Santa Cruz Syndicate), and it was pretty clear from the interim time that he was out to win, the South African eventually finishing four seconds ahead of MacDonald.
The last starters were team-mates Steve Smith (CAN - Devinci Global Racing) and Nick Beer. Smith had a perfect run but could not beat Minnaar's time.
Mick Hannah (AUS - Hutchinson United Ride), the winner of last week's iXS race in Winterberg/GER, finished sixth.
30 riders started in the elite women's class on Sunday.
Jill Kintner (USA - Team Norco intl.) started as fifth fastest and was the first to break the two-minute barrier in the interim time.
Tracey Hannah (AUS - Hutchinson United Ride) was even quicker in the interim time, but finished behind Kintner in the end.
After that, it was the turn of the top three from the seeding run.
Floriane Pugin (FRA - Scott 11), winner of the last year's World Cup in Leogang, managed to squeeze between the two leading riders, but it was pretty clear that Emmeline Ragot and Rachel Atherton (GBR - GT Factory Racing) would decide the race between themselves.
Atherton finished in 3.51, five seconds faster than Ragot's time in the seeding run, with the Brit winning the race ahead of Ragot, Kintner, Pugin and Hannah.
The iXS European Downhill Cup heads to Scotland's Innerleithen for the next round of competition from June 15-17.