Junior racing with 18 nations
For some time now, St. Kassian has been a venue for the junior series. Located in South Tyrol, the place offers a really beautiful setting for this competition with its impressive rock faces of the Dolomites. In addition, as an Italian stop, it adds another country to the series, so that the youngsters are also offered an international race calendar and in this way already get a good impression of a racing career. Of course, the parents are extremely important, but St. Kassian is also one of the most beautiful destinations in a season for them.
Surrounded by the steep slopes of the Cunturinesspitze, the Piz Lavarela and the Lagazuoi, high up at about 1500 metres above sea level, lies the tranquil village that belongs to the municipality of Badia. For some time now, the Alta Badia region has also been a popular destination for mountain bikers, as the Bike Beats trails begin at the summit of Piz Sorega next to the arrival point of the cable car.
As in the past, the race not only offered a scenic experience, but also optimal weather conditions. The conditions were once again responsible for a relaxed atmosphere, although the participants and also the accompanying travellers were of course somewhat tense. It all started on Friday with the collection of the start number and the track walk. Due to the length of the course, this took quite some time, but rewarded the protagonists with some new sections that gave the track a bit more of a technical edge.
Saturday's seeding run was the first indicator of who was able to cope well with the altitude conditions. Over 150 athletes from 18 nations were registered. The international participation alone is proof of the high reputation of this series, which is probably unique in the world. Many of the favourites placed at the top of their respective classes to continue collecting important points for the series ranking.
Sunday started with similar conditions. After a short practice session, during which the lines and braking points were checked one last time, the final run got down to business. The fastest time of the day was set by Reid Simpson (GBR). The U13 rider needed only 5:28.221 minutes for the approximately three kilometre long course. With this performance, the young Scot underlines his quality and definitely belongs to those to watch for the future. In the female categories it was Rosa Zierl (AUT - DH Team Tirol) who kept the competition at bay with 5:46.672 minutes. Even though only two names were mentioned here as examples, it is nevertheless the case that outstanding performances were shown by the entire field of participants and the level was once again extremely high.
Reid Simpson's result secures series win in 2023
The PROPAIN Rookies Cup is being held for the 16th time this year and is the perfect stepping stone to a serious downhill career. Nevertheless, the atmosphere is familiar and the cohesion among the youngsters is great. This is exactly what St. Kassian was able to offer again and you could see the love for the cause in everyone involved.