Austria's mountain bike stars: great anticipation for home World Cup

Tuesday, 04.06.2024

Austria's mountain bike stars: great anticipation for home World Cup

After two races in Fort William, Scotland, and on a new course in Bielsko Biala, Poland, there is great anticipation for the home World Cup of the WHOOP UCI Mountain Bike World Series from June 7 to 9 in Saalfelden Leogang.

Last year's winner and local hero from Saalbach, Vali Höll, comes to Leogang as the overall leader despite a crash and sixth place in Poland. Andreas Kolb is hungry for more after finishing ninth and eighth this season.

After Vali Höll had dominated the World Cup in Fort William, the World Cup weekend on the new track in Poland was rather mixed for her. In the semi-final, the Saalbach racer clearly had the upper hand with a good two-second lead over Tahnée Seagrave, although she had to dismount and adjust her chain on the way. In the final on Sunday, Höll crashed right after the start. However, she continued the race and saved a sixth place at the finish. The victory went to Marine Cabirou (FRA), eight seconds behind Höll.  In the overall standings, the woman from Salzburg is ten points ahead of Seagrave. There was a new face on the top step of the men's podium in Poland with the young Irishman Ronan Dunne, while Leogang winner Andi Kolb finished eighth on the new World Cup course.
Now a course awaits that both Höll and Kolb have fond memories of: The Leogang Speedster. The steep and rough course combines challenging rock piles and root carpets with switchbacks and massive jumps and demands everything from the riders, who can reach speeds of up to 65 km/h here. The “Valis Hölle” gap jump is both famous and infamous. On Sunday, June 9, we will see whether the Austrian fairytale can repeat the double victory of the local heroes last year. 


Enduro and E-Enduro enter their second year - who will triumph in Austria's largest bike region Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn?
The Enduro and E-Enduro riders return to Saalfelden Leogang for their second UCI World Cup season to battle for the best times far beyond the borders of the Epic Bikepark. The stages are spread across the entire area of Austria's largest bike region Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn and offer a variety of challenging descents, not to mention the sweat-inducing climbs between the individual stages. Last year, overall World Cup winner Isabeau Courdurier (FRA) and Rhys Verner (CAN) won the enduro category in Leogang, while overall World Cup winners Fabien Barel (FRA) and Florencia Espiñeira Herreros (CHL) secured victory in the e-mountain bike category. The latter is also the dominant rider of the season and celebrated her second win of the season in Poland. Local hero Slawomir Lukasik led the men's E-Enduro classification.
Charles Murray (NZL) took a narrow victory in Poland among the enduro riders without E-support, while Leogang winner Isabeau Courdurier (FRA) secured the top step of the podium among the women. The defending champion from France therefore comes to Leogang as the clear favorite.


Salzburg rider back at her home World Cup
Lisa Mitterbauer, a well-known Salzburg cyclist, is also returning to her home World Cup in Leogang in the Enduro discipline. The former cross-country rider will be competing in the elite women's field and recently finished 20th (in the final) and 23rd (Poland). Hannah Steinthaler from Innsbruck is another Austrian in the elite women's field. A well-known name can be found on the entry list of the E-Endurists: Hard Enduro star Manuel Lettenbichler, who recently won the Erzbergrodeo once again, will also be at the start of the E-Enduro races this year.


Colorful supporting program and sustainable travel
In addition to the two mountain bike disciplines with three competitions (Downhill, Enduro and E-Enduro), there will also be an extensive supporting program at the event site at Epic Bikepark Leogang from 7 to 9 June: from Friday to Sunday, visitors can expect side events, parties, a large expo, autograph sessions and much more. These include top concerts, such as the one by Pinzgau dialect band Glueboys on Saturday evening. A special program item is also the autograph session with ski star Marco Schwarz and downhill ace Vali Höll on Saturday, 8 June at 16:45 at the stand of Austria's largest bike region Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn in the Expo Area at the foot of the Asitzbahn.