Saalfelden Leogang’s ‘Speedster’ to host UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup
The Austrian bike-mecca of Saalfelden Leogang will host a stop of the UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup for the 7th time. On June 10 and 11, Bikepark Leogang will see downhill greats like Rachel Atherton and Aaron Gwin going all-out on the ‘Speedster’ trail to chase those vital seconds. As part of the Out of Bounds Festival (June 8-11), the world’s best downhill athletes will fight for the fastest time during the third stop of the UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup 2017, whilst the elite amongst the slopestyle riders will showcase the raddest tricks and freshest moves during the FMB World Tour Gold Event 26TRIX.
Curious what the Speedster trail looks like?
Check out Rachel Atherton’s winning run from last year
The UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup in Saalfelden Leogang is a special one: the 2.5km/1.5mi long downhill trail ‘Speedster’ on the Asitz is located within Bikepark Leogang and is like no other track on the World Cup circuit.
Some of the most memorable moments in downhill racing history like Aaron Gwin’s infamous chain-less run to victory in 2015 and Rachel Atherton’s record-breaking 10th consecutive World Cup win happened on this very track. Atherton (GBR) and Gwin (USA) also both won the last two World Cups in Leogang and therefore have the chance to get the ‘Leogang hat-trick’ in this year’s race and write mountain bike history once more.
In pursuit of the UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup overall title the riders have seven races between April and September. Leogang will be the third race of the season. The season kicked-off in Lourdes, France, on April 30, where Alexandre Fayolle (FRA), Mark Wallace (CAN) and Marcelo Gutierrez (COL) took the top three spots after a storm moved in half-way through the finals. The ensuing torrential rain and heavy winds rendered conditions almost un-rideable for the top 10 qualifiers including race favorites like Aaron Gwin and Danny Hart.
The women’s field was luckier as their race started well before the storm. In the end Rachel Atherton (GBR) took the win with Tracey Hannah (AUS) and Tahnée Seagrave (GBR) close on her heels.
A hot topic around the World Cup pits this year is the arrival of 29-inch wheels in downhill racing. The Santa Cruz Syndicate surprised the rest of the teams with fully developed ‘big-wheels’.
The qualification in Lourdes saw all three Syndicate riders qualifying within the first six and Loris Vergier (FRA) taking the top spot. However, due to the torrential rain the top 10 qualifiers in Lourdes were struggling. The world never got to find out if 29ers truly are faster on race day. All eyes will be on ‘Speedster’ to try and find the answer to the question that has the mountain bike scene electrified.
Fans and athletes can also look forward to some exciting changes to this year’s event. Two additional track-side stands will bring fans closer to the race. This will also benefit the athletes as they can surely use the additional support by the fans to conquer the challenging track. The ‘Speedster’ itself will also see some small changes that athletes and fans can look forward to. “We are currently working tirelessly on implementing the various changes as well as the general preparations to ensure the best event possible for fans and athletes alike. We expect over 16,000 spectators who can look forward to an action-packed weekend in Leogang”, says Kornel Grunder, General Manager of the Leoganger Bergbahnen.
Highlights UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup Leogang:
Saturday, June 10, 2017
12:15 pm | World Cup Downhill – Qualifications – Junior Men
12:30 pm | World Cup Downhill – Qualifications – Junior Women
01:30 pm | World Cup Downhill – Qualifications – Elite Women
02:00 pm | World Cup Downhill – Qualifications – Elite Men
Sunday, June 11, 2017
10:00 am | World Cup Downhill – Finals – Junior Women
10:30 am | World Cup Downhill – Finals – Junior Men
Prize-giving ceremony shortly after the Junior Men’s race
01:00 pm | World Cup Downhill – Finals – Elite Women
02:00 pm | World Cup Downhill – Finals – Elite Men
Prize-giving ceremony shortly after the Men’s race
On top of the UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup, Saalfelden Leogang will host further action- and fun-filled events: the FMB World Tour Gold Event 26TRIX, which will see the world’s best slopestyle athletes battling for vital points by showcasing their best tricks, a pumptrack contest open to the public, a breath-taking show by the Flying Bulls, various parties and much more.
The team- and expo-area are open to the public during the following times:
Friday, June 9: 12:00 pm – 08:00 pm
Saturday, June 10: 10:00 am – 08:00 pm
Sunday, June 11: 10:00 am – 05:00 pm
Visitors can take advantage of a special package including tickets and accommodation:
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Package from June 8th – 11th 2017
3 overnight stays incl. 2 day tickets to the event area and all side-events (Ö3 Party, etc.) and the Löwen Alpin Card (guest card for Saalfelden Leogang) starting from € 112,- per person.