Vali Höll fastest in qualifying and semi-finals

Saturday, 08.06.2024

Vali Höll fastest in qualifying and semi-finals

A successful first day for Vali Höll at her home World Cup in Saalfelden Leogang

The Saalbach native came out on top in both the qualifying and semi-finals. Andreas Kolb finished in 13th place in the men's race. Sports stars from other disciplines were also on site today: skiing ace Marco Schwarz was an enthusiastic onlooker, while Erzbergrodeo champion Manuel Lettenbichler took on the challenge of the E-Enduro World Cup.


The lights turned green twice today for Vali Höll at the finish area at the foot of the Leogang Epic Bike Park: The local heroine made it impressively clear that she is on a mission at her home World Cup. While many of her direct competitors failed and crashed, Höll did not lose focus on this year's extremely challenging course. She secured both the qualification and the semi-final ahead of Anna Newkirk and Tahnée Seagrave and goes into tomorrow's women's final as the clear favorite: “I can already tell that it's a lot more difficult at home. I find the course brutally demanding this year. It's the toughest course we've had here so far. I wouldn't have expected that, but I really like it."  Andreas Kolb finished 13th in the men's race, with French downhill star Loic Bruni, a five-time world champion, dominating the semi-finals ahead of Luca Shaw and Troy Brosnan. There was a surprise from the region in the downhill juniors: Julian Koch from Leogang secured 21st place in the semi-final and thus qualified for the final at his home World Cup.


Lettenbichler happy with his performance in the E-Enduro World Cup
Hard Enduro star Manuel Lettenbichler was happy with his performance in the second mountain bike discipline, which was held today as part of the WHOOP UCI Mountain Bike World Series in Austria's largest bike region Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn: The now three-time Erzbergrodeo champion was at the start of the E-Enduro World Cup for the second time and was happy about his 21st place: “It was a mega day for me and I'm happy that I got through without crashing, but also glad that it's over now,” grinned the German. 


Marco Schwarz fascinated by the downhill stars' performances
And another star from a different sport was a prominent onlooker today: skiing ace Marco Schwarz visited the WHOOP UCI Mountain Bike World Series in Saalfelden Leogang and kept his fingers crossed for local heroes Vali Höll and Andi Kolb: “It's a very cool experience because I'm also on my bike a lot as a hobby. This is my first time at the Downhill World Cup. It's very impressive to watch the riders tearing down through the forest. I've already ridden down the Kondi course myself, at a different speed of course, but I really enjoy it,” says Schwarz, who was impressed by Vali Höll: ”I follow her performances on social media. She's a two-time world champion, so I take my hat off to her."

Schwarz had also come to drum up support for a major event in the region: The Alpine World Ski Championships, which will take place from February 4 to 16, 2025 in Saalbach and thus in the Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn, of which Leogang and the Epic Bikepark are also a part, will start advance ticket sales on June 10 with a Limited Summer Edition.


Full program on Saturday
A full program awaits tomorrow, Sunday, in Saalfelden Leogang: In addition to the exciting final decisions, tomorrow from 12:30 pm, many other highlights await: Including the Flying Bulls air show by stunt pilot Dario Costa or the popular Signing Session by FOX with the stars of the scene, including Laurie Greenland, Nina Hoffmann, Steve Peat, Tahnée Seagrave or Enduro star Manuel Lettenbichler.