The travelling circus that is the Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup is back after a three week break with Leogang in Austria the base for this next stop of mountain biking's premier racing series. This is the first round of the World Cup for the downhillers and the third round for the cross-country riders.
Leogang has been a downhill-only round on the World Cup for many years, but for the first time cross-country riders and their teams are joining the party. Cross-country has only been raced at the Austrian venue for the World Championships in 2012 and in 2020. Let's catch up on everything you need to know about what's going on at Leogang for 2021.
What happened at the 2021 Leogang cross-country World Cup?
Action in Leogang began with Friday's short track (XCC) race. The Leogang XCC course was completely new to the riders and featured a long climb that made it somewhat different to other XCC tracks on the World Cup circuit.
In the women's XCC, it was France's Loana Lecomte who took the win, her first short track victory. Australian Rebecca McConnell came in second with Swiss miss Jolanda Neff in third. The men's race saw Mathias Flückiger of Switzerland pip Ondrej Cink of the Czech Republic to the win, with Dutch rider Milan Vadar in third.
XC short track race recap – Leogang
France's Lecomte dominated the main women's cross-country (XCO) race for the third World Cup event running, once again leading from the opening lap to the last. Jenny Rissveds of Sweden came second ahead of local Austrian favourite Laura Stigger.
In the men’s XCO there was a feeling of déjà vu as Flückiger secured the victory, finishing ahead of Cink once again. Though this time it was Anton Cooper of New Zealand that finished third.
What happened at the 2021 Leogang downhill World Cup?
DH season preview – riders get ready
In the women's downhill, Camile Balanche of Switzerland repeated her win at the Worlds to take home the victory. Home favourite Valentina Höll was the last women down and looked on course to better Balanche's time, however, she slipped at the very last turn and lost her advantage. Höll did finish second though, with Slovenian Monika Hrastnik in third.
The men's downhill was also filled with drama as Australia's Troy Brosnan – the last man down the hill – overtook the fastest time set by France's Thibaut Daprela by over a second to secure the win. Daprela's teammate and fellow Frenchman Amaury Pierron finished third.
Winning DH runs – Leogang
Watch the replays from the cross-country and downhill races below:
Relive all the action from the Leogang World Cup as VOD
- UCI MTB World Cup Leogang short track (XCC)
XC short track final – Leogang
- UCI MTB World Cup Leogang XCO women's final
Women's XCO final – Leogang
- UCI MTB World Cup Leogang XCO men's final
Men's XCO final – Leogang
- UCI MTB World Cup Leogang downhill women's final
Women's DH final – Leogang
- UCI MTB World Cup Leogang downhill men's final
Men's DH final – Leogang
What's the downhill track like?
The DH track in Austria had been labelled as (perhaps unsurprisingly, given that it's in a bike park) being very 'bike park'. However, in recent years the track has been changed a bit to make it a more of technical riding challenge for the riders, including a new covered woods section. Join Claudio Caluori below as he talks you through the main areas:
DH track explanation with Claudio Calouri
Want to see what the pros see as they tear down the Austrian course? Join Brook Macdonald below as he shows you the track:
Leogang DH course preview with Brook Macdonald
What's the cross-country course like?
The cross-country course in Leogang is relatively new, having only made its debut at the 2020 World Championships. It's 3.6km in length and features two long main climbs. The track goes into forest areas a couple of times and the descents in there are steep and challenging. There are a few technical elements on the course that will test the riders skills, including gaps and root passages.
Jump onboard with Laura Stigger for a lap of the new cross-country course:
XCO track explanation with Laura Stigger
Where are we?
Leogang Bike Park, which is where the World Cup racing takes place, is in Zell am See in the district of Salzburg, towards the western end of Austria. The town itself is blink-and-you'll-miss-it small with a population of just over 3,000. A beautiful, fast-rolling mountain road runs straight through it. The imposing mountains that dominate the scenery in and around Leogang Bike Park are part of the Northern Limestone Alps.
This is another stop where the main currency in these parts is very much winter tourism and snow sports, although in the summer it's not unusual to see vintage motorcycle or sports car rallies thump their way through the mountains and the river, which flows through the centre of the pits and is of the pale blue, glacial cold variety. All-in then, it's a pretty idyllic spot.
Watch the Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup races on Red Bull TV – and be sure to download the free Red Bull TV app so you can watch the unmissable MTB action on all your devices!