Successful bike season in Saalfelden Leogang goes into overtime
Saalfelden Leogang and the Epic Bikepark Leogang can already look back on an extremely successful mountain bike summer full of highlights. But the season is not over yet - lovers of the finest single trail action or awesome bike park shred in Austria's largest bike region can postpone the start of the off-season until the beginning of November.
The mountain bike season in Saalfelden Leogang this year covers an incredible 178 days, which is the equivalent of five months, three weeks and 5 days, i.e. almost half a year, in which mountain bike fans of all ages and abilities get their money's worth in the Pinzgau region. The Asitzbahn gondola and later the Steinbergbahn gondola will continue to operate on daily basis until 5 November, transporting riders and bikes to the region's countless lines and trails. The same applies to the Riederfeldlift and the conveyor belts in the Riders Playground, which also continue to operate daily. Patricia Druwen, Kathi Kuypers and Co. already demonstrated earlier this season how much fun you can have there and on the Hot Shots fired by GoPro jumpline during the ladies' session at the Epic Bikepark Leogang. If you think about putting on your hiking boots once the bike season is over – Leogang cable cars will transport hikers until the beginning of the skiing season.
Next to new – and proven – lines and trails, numerous events and activities provided mountain bike riders from all over the world with additional reasons to visit Austria's oldest bike park. Furthermore, the online bike bonus, introduced in 2023, was also well received and widely used by the bike audience. The dynamic pricing system allows mountain bikers to purchase both day and multi-day tickets early at a cheaper price, while a fixed price applies at the box office.
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup and BIKE Festival as magnets for visitors
The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup was hosted in Saalfelden Leogang early in the season. The first World Cup triple header, which not only included the disciplines of Downhill and Cross-country, but also brought the Enduro World Cup to the Epic Bikepark Leogang for the first time, saw a total of 1,100 athletes from 33 nations participating in 18 different competitions. The approximately 23,000 World Cup visitors were particularly pleased with the performances of their local heroes: In addition to the strong second and third places of Mona Mitterwallner and Laura Stigger in the Cross-Country Olympic race, Vali Höll and Andi Kolb made history celebrating Austria's first double victory in a Downhill World Cup.
At the BIKE Festival in September 15,000 visitors took part in over 40 different workshops and courses or tested the material of more than 50 bike brands. At the VPACE Kids Cup and the Scott Junior Trophy, around 220 young riders were able to show what they were made of.
Sustainable trail building par excellence – opening of the AlteSchmiede Trail
To be ridden for the first time at the BIKE Festival as part of a “soft opening” was the brand new AlteSchmiede Trail, which will become one of the official Saalfelden Leogang single tracks from the start of the 2024 bike season. It can currently be tested until mid-October. The moderately difficult trail is 3.35 kilometers long and includes flowing turns, northshore elements and technical passages. Like all single tracks in Saalfelden Leogang, the AlteSchmiede Trail was built entirely by hand and without the use of heavy machinery. The trail builders around head shaper Reinhard Unterberger had to completely adapt to the terrain and weaved their way through without even knocking down a single tree. They built tables, step-ups, steep curves or jumps wherever the terrain gave the opportunity. At around 25 meters of trail per day, it took the shape crew almost five months to complete.
In the spirit of environmental protection, the bike park also continued the “Roll Off instead of Tear Off” campaign. With its partner 100%, the Epic Bikepark Leogang offers a free film for the roll-off system on rainy days, as well as a 20% discount on new 100% glasses with the roll-off system from Sport Mitterer.
Hosting major events like the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, the Saalfelden Leogang region and the Epic Bikepark Leogang strive to keep their ecological footprint as low as possible. Key elements is the emphasis of using public transport to get to Saalfelden Leogang and back, while also using local public transport. In addition, consistent waste separation and the use of reusable items, as well as the consumption of regional products, were recommended.
“Although the season at the Epic Bikepark Leogang is far from over, we would like to thank everyone for an unforgettable bike summer. It's just incredibly nice to see how the sport is developing and how more and more people are finding their way to our bike park. Of course, our shapers play an important role. They really stepped up their game again this year to keep the lines and trails in the best possible condition. But the biggest thanks goes to our bike guests, because they are the ones who make our bike park truly epic.” – Berrie van de Kolk, Marketing and Office Manager Leoganger Bergbahnen