It was a week of rain and mud, a week that saw the world’s very best tested to their very limits by the track at Leogang – with many a rider coming up second best. Race day saw a gleaming sun rise above the horizon, blue skies etch their way across the sky in Leogang and some drier conditions pave the way for finals. Despite the sun, there was still plenty of moisture in the lower woods and the winners fought for traction to take the win…..
By Mike Branch | Photography Bartek Wolinski
Leogang has been home to the UCI Downhill World Cup for 18 straight seasons and whilst it has always been a fixture, it has never been like this. This may well have been one of the most challenging tracks to qualify in the history of the sport – finals day may well have been easier. Aaron Gwin won here without a chain in 2015 if that tells the tale….
The Women’s field went down with gusto and once again Camille Balanache proved she is the woman to beat in wet weather and muddy conditions. A lady that can walk the line of traction and take the win each and every time, Camille dominated by over 11 seconds ahead of Myriam Nicole and Elenora Farina.
The men’s field saw some wild riding with the French riders again showing some dominance at the top. Some big names hit the mud and didn’t compete with their best times, but Angel Suarez is a talent that has been simmering for the last few years and went fastest for some time. That is until the Brits went through the start gate with Danny Hart posting what looked like an unstoppable time but a time that Matt Walker was able to beat by half a second – taking his first World Cup win.
- Matt Walker: 3:28.816
- Danny Hart: 3:29.141
- Angel Suarez: 3:30.370
- Camille Balanche: 4:08.218
- Myriam Nicole: 4:19.586
- Eleonora Farina: 4:24.281
- Jordan Williams: 3:39.314
- Jackson Goldstone: 3:43.318
- Lachlan Stevens-McNab: 3:43.969
- Phoebe Gale: 4:28.749
- Jenna Hastings: 4:42.853
- Gracey Hemstreet: 4:43.949