The Out of Bounds Festival – Austria’s biggest mountain bike freeride event – hosted the 26TRIX dirt jump contest, an iXS European Downhill Cup and the iXS FourX Race. American Cameron McCaul won the 26TRIX, which is a “Gold Event” of the Freeride Mountain Bike (FMB) World Tour. He took home the biggest part of the overall 10,000 Euros price purse. Justin Leov from New Zealand dominated the iXS European Downhill Cup and Joost Wichman from the Netherlands won the iXS FourX Race. The Out of Bounds Festival was completed by BBQs, a bunny hop contest and a legendary after party at the Eventhall Leogang.
The slope next to Bikepark Leogang’s gondola station was well packed with spectators on Saturday afternoon, when the 26TRIX finals were about to be kicked off. The 16 riders that made it into the finals (almost 60 from 17 countries took part) showed a great performance and huge tricks. Some to name are: Canadian Brandon Semenuk with 360s, regular and opposite, backflip x-up one footers, 360 tailwhip and a flipwhips (2nd place). Swedish young gun Martin Soderstrom pulling backflips, 360 table tops, 360 tuck no handers and double tailwhips (3rd place). But it was Cameron McCaul who proved to have the best combination of style and tricks this weekend: Backflips, tailwhips, frontflips and a huge flipwhip at the end – all very clean and with extremely high amplitude. Other highlights of the finals were: Sam Pilgrim’s runs packed with backflip no handers and x-up one foots, 360 whips and flipwhips, as well as Yannick Granieri’s inverted 360 on the Airtime Line. Kona Clump Team rider Andreu Lacondeguy’s riding was going wild with backflip nohanders and supermans as well as a trick that was something in between a backflip and a 360 flatspin, which was just huge (7th place for him). Cam’s little brother, Tyler McCaul, got a special prize for the best trick of the weekend – a 360 down side whip at the last jump. Bikepark Leogang managing director Kornel Grundner handed him over 26 cans of the “TRIXX” beer from Eastern Europe sponsored by filmer Ryys.
Right after the 26TRIX finals, the iXS FourX Race marked the grand final of the international Euro Fourcross Series and showcased thrilling battles of well-known racers. No wonder that it were the big names of the sport, who dominated the race – also because they had been riding the track just one week before during the World Cup in Leogang. And the conditions could hardly have been more thrilling, as the series’ leaders Lukas Mechura (CZE) and Johannes Fischbach (GER) were separated by just one point after the qualification, with third-placed Joost Wichman (NED) still in contention for the overall as well. In the semi finals, Fischbach and Tatarkovic raced head-to-head in the most spectacular way. Both wanted to get into the pro section’s tight run-in first, and as Tatarkovic had to back down, Fischbach prevailed and moved on to the big final. But in the final he had a less than stellar start and attacked too hard going into the first turn, slipping and dropping to fourth position. This also cost him all chances to win the series’ overall. Freshly-crowned as European champion, Wichman delivered another sample of his current strong form, beating Mechura and Filip Polc (SVK) to the finish line. The European Fourcross Series overall was won by Mechura, who kept a narrow lead of 10 points on his closest followers Wichman and Fischbach. The rookies’ category was won by Piotr Kobus (POL): Despite being unable to compete in the final due to a crash during practice, he defended the lead by just one point.
For Sunday’s final of the iXS European Downhill Cup, the course’s moistest forest sections had completely dried up. Remember, it was the same track the World Cup riders raced a week before, when it was hard to ride due to the wet conditions. So the speed on the track was much higher during the Out of Bounds Festival. Brook MacDonald (NZL) posted a time that would have put him in second a day earlier at the qualifications. Thus he made himself comfortable in the Red Bull Hotseat and enjoyed the race from that position, finishing in a fine fifth position in the end. The first rider to beat his time was Steve Smith (CAN), who eventually only got beaten by Justin Leov. Although Nick Beer was faster than the day before, he could not do better than third, but it also moved him into the lead in the series’ overall standings.
In the Women’s elite category, there was Tracy Moseley (GBR) and then there were the others. She literally outclassed her 21 opponents, putting an enormous 23 seconds gap between her and the next-placed riders Martina Brühlmann (SUI) and Miriam Ruchti (SUI).
The master’s race was superiorly won by Wilfred van de Haterd (NED), with Heinz Hostettler (SUI) and Marcel Waldmann (SUI) filling the other podium spots. The winner of the under17 race was Antoine Bagnoud (SUI), who was faster than second-placed Matthew Scott (GBR) and Aram Raoof (POL) in third.
But the Out of Bounds was not only about international competitions. The packed side program also featured a fun bunny hop contest, where everybody was able to compete. It was the iXS FourX Race winner Joost Wichman, who won the 200 bucks after clearing 1.10 meters (over 43”). And not only Joost enjoyed the BBQ session at the B3 café afterwards. For all the party heroes, a big Ö3 (biggest radio station in Austria) after show party was on the agenda for Saturday evening. Lots of young party people and all the 4X and 26TRIX riders were pushing their personal limits until the Eventhall Leogang closed the doors at 4:30 am.
Don’t miss the Out of Bounds Festival next year from June 16th to 19th – just a very few days after the World Cup circus hit Leogang (June 10th – 12th). Ten days packed with first class mountain bike action are guaranteed in 2011.
For further information about the Bikepark Leogang, its events for 2010 and the variety of available trails, please visit: http://www.bikepark-leogang.com
Photos by Norbert Szasz and YorickCarroux courtesy of Rasoulution.