After the conclusion of the UCI World Cup series last weekend, the curtain will also come down on the iXS European Downhill Cup and, with a long (and often boring!) off-season to come, the action over the weekend will have to sustain bike fans for the long winter ahead.
Fortunately, the last race of the year will be held in a part of Europe, Todtnau, that has the potential to offer up one of the highlights of the season.
The course in Germany’s oldest bike park has been shaped perfectly and is in great condition, with the 3km-long track, with a vertical drop of almost 500m, sure to bring out the very best in the European downhill elite.
The most exciting action is expected in the Elite Women category, with four candidates for the overall win separated by just a few points.
The winner of the last race in Châtel, France, Floriane Pugin (FRA - Scott 11) leads the overall rankings with 132 points, four ahead of Swiss champion Miriam Ruchti (SUI - SC-Intense).
Slovenian champion Zarja Cernilogar (SLO - Crn Trn GT) is in third on 126 points and vice World Champion Emmeline Ragot (FRA - MS Mondraker) is fourth with 122 points.
Unfortunately, Floriane, who tasted victory in the Todtnau leg of the 2011 tour, will not be able to defend her lead due to a broken hand sustained during the last World Cup race at Hafjell so she will be watching on nervously instead.
In the Elite Men, things are not quite as close. Robin Wallner (SWE - Team Åre Bikepark) is in the lead and is the clear favourite for the 2012 title, with 488 points, ahead of Johann Potgieter (RSA - Canfield Factory Racing) with 459 points.
Ranked third is Damien Spagnolo (FRA - MS Mondraker) ahead of his team-mate Markus Pekoll (AUT - MS Mondraker) with 350 points. Pekoll’s best chance of securing a podium spot though would be a bad result for one of the leading riders.
A weekend of high-speed downhill racing is guaranteed. Stay tuned to Red Bull Bike and see if the iXS riders have saved their best till last.