Last weekend, in Saalfelden Leogang one highlight followed the other. At the Biketember festival, the iXS European Downhill Cup, Specialized-SRAM Enduro Series, Cross Country Europacup and the Scott Junior Trophy celebrated a perfect end to a season full of racing. Hundreds of athletes gathered in Europe’s biking mekka to fight for race wins as well as overall series victories.
For the first time since the 2012 world championships, Cross Country professionals returned to Saalfelden Leogang to fight for precious points on the Europacup. But the track saw its first action on Saturday, when young riders took part in the youth series. The youngest rider, Fabian Hödlmoser, was only 8 years old. In the sports class, Thomas Weber won with a time of 57:22 min. On Sunday, Polish world cup racer Maja Wloszczowska (Kross Racing Team) was the fastest athlete. With a time of 1:24:54 hrs she was the first to cross the line ahead of Githa Michiels (BEL – Versluys Team) and the Austrian Lisa Mitterbauer (Habitat Mountainbike Team). In the Men’s Elite, the Italian Mirko Tabacchi (G.S. Forestale Cicli Olympia Vit) finished the race almost one minute ahead of his rivals with a time of 1:36:02 hrs, followed by Jiri Novak (CZE – Betch.NL Superior Brentjens MTB Racing Team) and Karl Markt (Haibike Ötztal Pro Team) from Austria. Taking third place was enough for Karl Markt to secure the overall victory of this year’s season. Information about the Cross Country Europacup and the Mountainbike Liga Austria can be found here: www.mtb-liga.at
The renowned “Speedster” world cup track was once again littered with athletes, pinning fast runs and trying to steal seconds in every corner. The track is no stranger to epic moments, for example, Aaron Gwin’s chainless UCI Downhill World Cup victory. At the iXS European Downhill Cup on Sunday, everything ran “smoothly” – Jana Bartova (RRP Ghost) from the Czech Republic won the race without any technical problems. Following her time of 4:15 min, the overall victory was won by Eleonora Farina (ITA – Mangusta Bike Team) came in second, a result which also awarded her the series’ overall victory. Swiss athlete Carina Cappellari (Radon Magura Factory DH Team) crossed the line in third. Frenchman Benoit Coulanges (ROC VTT Oz-En-Oisans) was the fastest amongst the men’s elite and completed the course in a time of 3:33 min. German champion Johannes Fischbach (Ghost RRP) celebrated his second place as well as the overall victory. Third place went to Polish rider Slawomir Lukasik (NS Bikes FroPro). More information can be found here: www.ixsdownhillcup.com
But there was even more action at the Biketember Festval. The Specialized-SRAM Enduro Series had its sixth and final stop in Saalfelden Leogang. At the women’s final, the podium was firmly in German hands. Lisa Policzka won the contest, followed by Chiara Eberle (MHW Cube Racing Team) and Raphaela Richter (Radon Factory Enduro). The third place result of Raphaela Richter was enough to take the overall victory – a solid reward for a great season. German downhill champion Marcus Klausmann (GHOST Factory Racing) clocked best times on several stages and won the race 11 seconds ahead of Michal Prokop (Specialized Racing). The Czech also had a reason for celebration as he won the overall series at the Biketember Festival. Markus Reiser (GER- Focus Trail Team) finished the challenging race in third. More information can be found here: www.enduroseries.net
Staying true to the Olympic claim “it’s the taking part that counts”, kids and teens between the age of 3 and 16 gathered for the Scott Junior Trophy at the Ritzensee Stadion. Having fun was priority number one for everyone involved and all the nippers were rewarded for their efforts. For more information about the Scott Junior Trophy, please visit: www.bikepark-leogang.com
Saalfelden Leogang also prepared countless activities to keep visitors amused between races. First up, on Friday the Austrian rider Fabio Wibmer was crowned king of steeze during the whip contest held at the bottom of the Speedster track. Throughout the weekend, the expo area kept eyes feasted on the scenes’ coolest products. Side events were wrapped up with some beats and drinks at the Ö3 party.
There can be no better way to finish your season than at the Biketember Festival. Excited about a year packed with great riding, amazing achievements and rad times – bikers are looking forward to more upcoming events in Saalfelden Leogang such as the winter event White Style and next year’s editions of the Out of Bounds Festival and of course, Biketember.
More information about the Festival can be found here: www.biketember.com