Bikepark Leogang 2011: season review
The 2011 season at the Bikepark Leogang is coming to an end. Until October 23rd, the trails of the Kona groove approved in the heart of the Salzburger Land are still open for visitors and a well-deserved winter break is right around the corner.
In 2011, the steadily growing number of visitors of the previous years was easily topped: From May to October, the Bikepark Leogang was able to denote a plus of 13 percent more uplifts. An impressive 15 percent increase of total visitors is a very satisfying confirmation for the continuous improvement of riding quality in the park’s infrastructure. Kornel Grundner, general manager of the Bikepark Leogang agrees: ”A big thank you goes out to all visitors, especially the ones that are loyal friends now and have been for the last decade. This is really a big motivation to continue to give our best for the Bikepark Leogang. Of course, we hope that 2012 will see as many highlights as our 10th season.” With the upcoming UCI World Championships in 2012, one huge highlight is sure to draw huge crowds to Leogang.
This anniversary season in Leogang – the Bikepark was opened in 2001 – had indeed some spectacular highlights in store.
A small taste of what was to come during the mountain biking season was already presented in January at the Monster Energy White Style presented by Kona. The biggest snow slopestyle event in the world is absolutely legendary within the scene. Huge jumps result in unbelievable airtime and make the White Style a unique experience that every mountain bike fan should have seen more than once in his life.
During the actual season beginning at the end of May, visitors were once again impressed by the continuous innovations of the Bikepark Leogang. Not only did most of the trails like the Hangmen or the Bongo Bongo Freeridetrail feature new elements, spectacular improvements like the Big Bag Airjump or the BikeMovie self analysis were received very positively by the visitors. Beyond the bike, the Flying Fox XXL, Austria’s biggest steel cable chute, provides an extra kick of adrenaline for particularly fearless visitors.
More action was to come during the “Sparkasse Erste Bank Out of Bounds Festival” from June 10th to 19th. An absolute must-see for everybody that appreciates action sports: For the second time, the UCI World Cup with its gravity disciplines 4X and downhill came to Leogang. Also the 26TRIX fueled by Monster Energy, one of the most important dirt jump events worldwide, was on the agenda. Anyone who still needed more bike action could enjoy the iXS Downhill Cup and a race of the European Fourcross Series.
The Oakley Freeride Youth Camp at the end of July showed that in Leogang, supporting upcoming mountain biking talents is part of the philosophy. Mountain bike legend Rob J and his mates were hard at work to teach around 100 young participants riding skills. But it was always worth the work, since every year Rob J and Co. discover some promising talents.
At the end of August, a few high-profile guests came to Leogang: The Austrian Downhill and 4X-National Team wanted to get acquainted with the bike park area, especially with the UCI World Championships 2012 in their home country in mind. Besides the training aspect, Austrian pro riders like Markus Pekoll or Petra Bernhard gave the numerous hobby bikers useful advice.
At the beginning of October, the season closing event took place in great atmosphere: Highlight was once again the legendary “Bikeabtrieb” (see YouTube clip: www.youtube.com/watch ) by now an institution of every year’s season in Leogang, where the participants bring down their decorated bikes the bikepark’s “alp”. The event follows the archetype of the Austrian “Senner” (cow shepherds), who traditionally herd the cows down from the Alps at the end of the summer.
For now, it is all about getting through the winter, maybe on snowboard or skis and to look forward to the next season in Leogang. In 2012, there is a special highlight waiting for mountain bike fans: From August 29th to September 9th, Leogang and Saalfelden are looking for the World Champions in the five most spectacular disciplines of mountain bike sport: Downhill, 4X, Cross Country, Trials and for the first time the Cross Country Eliminator.
Moreover all Bikepark Leogang riders can expect some more renewals on the trails of Leogang, more to come…
By the way: The Bikepark Leogang is still open until October 23rd Wednesday to Sunday from 9 am to 4.30 pm.
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