That Leogang Bike Park has now made an international name for itself on the mountain biking scene is not least due to the fact that it hosts top notch races and contests. So this weekend saw the downhill, fourcross and dirt jump elite at the Out of Bounds Festival. In addition to the third leg of the iXS European Downhill Cup there was also a Schwalbe Euro Fourcross Series race and the 26Trix, an FMB World Tour event.
Numerous top international bikers took part in the downhill race. The extremely high level of performance was already apparent during training. Just as at the World Cup the week before external conditions were not perfect. Rain turned the 2.3 km long course covering a vertical height of 480 metres into a sea of mud. T
he weather proceeded to turn totally crazy on Saturday, with high winds forcing the Elite Men class’ seeding run to be postponed until Sunday morning. The run did, however, give a first indication of who the main contenders would be. The fastest time, and thus the last starting slot, was achieved by Brook MacDonald (NZL – MS Evil). However, Marcus Klausmann (GER - Ghost ATG), Nejc Rutar (SLO - Unior Tools), Brendan Fairclough (GBR - Monster Energy/Specialized) and Troy Brosnan (AUS - Monster Energy/Specialized) also made clear their ambition to finish on the winners’ podium.
At the end of the day the podium, however, belonged exclusively to the very young riders from Australia and New Zealand, with Junior World Champion Troy Brosnan recording the best time of 4:09 mins. Not even Brook MacDonald, the last rider to start, was able to push him off the Red Bull Hot Seat and had to settle for second place after coming in just 1.5 tenths of a second behind the winner. Third place was, surprisingly, taken by George Brannigan (NZL - Devinci Global Racing). MacDonald now leads the overall rankings, ahead of Joshua Button (AUS - SC-Intense) and Markus Pekoll (AUT - MS Evil).
Emilie Siegenthaler (SUI - Scott 11) again won the Elite Women category race, further extending her lead in the overall rankings. Seeding Run fastest Petra Bernhard (AUT - Alpine Commencal) proved that she’s certainly not past it yet, coming in second to push Miriam Ruchti (SUI - SC-Nukeproof) into third place.
The fastest Master was Wilfred van de Haterd (NED - Bike Service Eisenach) ahead of Heinz Hostettler (SUI - BanditBike.ch) and Javier Santiago (ARG - Moser Sport). The U17 class was again dominated by Gianluca Vernassa (ITA - Argentina Bike), beating George Gannicott (GBR - Bikesoup/Gravity) and Jan Vacek (CZE - RockMachine) into second and third place.
The iXS European Downhill Cup will be visiting Leogang Bike Park again next year to try out the course currently under construction for the World Cup, to be held in late summer. For more details and comprehensive results visit ixsdownhillcup.com. The next leg of the European Series takes place on 30/31 July in Špičák (CZE).