It’s a Wrap! Saalfelden Leogang Season Recap
The region is definitely one of the hot spots for downhill athletes, slopestyle superstars and hobby riders alike. Events like White Style, Out of Bounds Festival and Biketember Festival attract everybody who is into mountain biking, but furthermore, trails like the new Matzalm trail cause excitement amongst ambitious freeriders.Whether it’s familiar faces such as downhill legend Aaron Gwin, British pro rider Tahnée Seagrave, Youngster Valentina Höll or the Italian “Slopestyle Mafia” consisting of Torquato Testa and Diego Caverzasi – the competing athletes gave it all and made the fans of the bike eldorado go crazy.
Aaron Gwin (USA) – Winner UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup in Leogang 2011, 2015, 2016, 2017
Some of my favorite racing memories are from Leogang, including my chainless win in 2015. I’ve had some great success here and just enjoy everything about racing and hanging out there. The scenery, the food, also the hotel we stay at is one my favorites of the year. The track’s flow is very nice all the way down and it’s also pretty fast, so it really tests different skills and requires a lot of precision. On top of all that, the fans are really good to me so that makes it a lot of fun!
Tahnée Seagrave (GBR) – Winner UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup in Leogang 2017
Winning my first World Cup here in Leogang in June took a massive weight off my shoulders! It had been a long time coming. It finally let me focus more on my riding rather than driving myself insane trying to grab that first win. As an event it’s really cool having the 26TRIX slopestyle at the same time as the World Cup. It's very different to what we do as downhillers so it's great to watch and some of it is mind blowing. Those guys are crazy and they seem to love pushing their sport! Leogang also appears to be home to some great talent. Local Vali Höll seems to be throwing whips with the best of them! I just found out that she’s a fan of mine. I might have to bring her to Wales – there's no better riding than a day in the rain slipping about everywhere and just having fun.
Torquato Testa (ITA) – Winner White Style 2017
I really like Leogang. There’s no other slopestyle competition with a backdrop such as the „Steinberge“. Besides, with White Style and 26TRIX, it’s the only place that hosts two FMB events in one season! In 2014, I competed at White Style for the first time and I remember being super excited to ride on snow as well as being proud to be invited to such a unique event! I definitely need to give the ‘Speedster’ World Cup track a go, too, maybe just for fun, though. I’m too slow to compete with the World Cup guys! (laughs)
Diego Caverzasi (ITA) – Winner 26TRIX 2016 and 2017
Going to Leogang for 26TRIX always means having a good time with the other riders, having fun together and partying a lot. The slopestyle course isn’t too long, meaning you have to drop all your bangers if you want to win. Therefore, nothing compares to the feeling of landing your best run here, waiting for the score from the judges, and then finally getting to share the podium with your friends! Believe it or not, but I've been to Leogang seven times now and I’ve never taken the gondola up to the top of the mountain to ride the bike park. It's definitely time to take a break and go there for a holiday!
Valentina Höll (AUT) – Winner iXS European Downhill Cup U17
Leogang simply has it all, starting with the swift gondola and the free washing station. Then of course the incredible World Cup track! The „Speedster“ provides an ideal mix of all the elements that make a great track: Speed, jumps but also technical sections - I just love it. Having this years final race of the European Cup here at my homespot and on an actual World Cup track was just insane. Finishing the race as the fastest woman of the day felt great to say the least! Especially considering that I hurt my fingers riding into a tree during practice, and my dad taping them up just before my race run! (laughs)
Markus Pekoll (AUT) – Austrian downhill great, European Champion 2013, six-time Austrian Champion
Ever since my first race here in 2008 I grew fonder of Leogang every year. The people here appreciate mountain biking in the same way as us riders and welcome everyone with open arms. Just a truly wonderful feeling! From the start, Leogang perceived me as a mountain bike athlete, without the need to explain to everyone what I do – that was incredibly motivating! As a result, the farewell-race of my career here was quite emotional. The feeling of thanking the race officials at the start hut of the ‚Speedster’ and realizing, wow, this is it, was something that I will never forget. The run itself was pure joy and I tried to savor every second of it. I was very content when I hit the brakes after crossing the finish line for the last time. I received so much positive feedback after I made my decision public which left me thinking: man, I definitely did something right. In the end, what remains are not tales of success and accomplishments, but the relationships built with everyone involved. Thank you Leogang, for the wonderful memories! Here’s to more incredible days here at Saalfelden Leogang in the future!
Mountain bike lovers who just can’t get enough, have some time left to shred Bikepark Leogang: The gondola ‚Asitzbahn’ is open until October 15, from October 16 – November 5, keen riders can take the ‘Steinbergbahn’ to the top of the mountain (limited trail access). Action junkies ought to take advantage, before they put their bikes down for the winter. With this closingdate, Bikepark Leogang has the longest season of the GraVityCard bikeparks.