After the first round of the UCI World Cup season in Fort William, UK was canceled, the year began in Leogang, Austria where world champs was held in 2020. With a three week delay to the opening round, riders and fans alike were excited to get the season underway at one of the most iconic tracks on the schedule.
As always, the track conditions varied all week in Leogang as rain came and went. For qualifying the riders went against a wet and slippery track. Despite the challenging conditions and several top riders going down and not qualifying, Troy Brosnan and home town hero Vali Höll clocked the fastest times in the elite men's and women's classes.
Troy Brosnan and his custom painted D4 Helmet
Vali Höll navigating the slick conditions in qualifying
Luca Shaw in his Sprint Brushed white/black kit
Brendan Fairclough flowing in qualies
Canyon Factory racer Mark Wallace
The newest TLD member Jamie Edmondson
Saturday finals brought dry conditions that completely changed the track. Before the fastest women's qualifier, Vali Höll began her run, new comer to Team Dorval and the TLD family Monika Hrastnik put down a fast time that landed her and her D4 Helmet in the hot seat. Shortly after, the fifth fastest qualifier Camille Balanche topped her teammates run with a 4:07.850 time. Vali was the last women down the hill and put together a solid run that had her up by several second at the split, but a bobble at the bottom that resulted in a fall would cost her the win but still land her second overall on the podium. With Camille taking the win, Vali bringing home silver and Monika earning third, it was a TLD podium sweep.
Vali Höll, Camille Balanche, Monika Hrastnik (left to right)
Last but not least, the elite men were up. Benoît Coulanges, the reigning French National Champion, put it all together in the final with a quick time of 3:28.253 that would eventually hold up for a fifth place overall finish and give Team Dorval the overall team win. The big story though was Troy Brosnan putting down the fastest time of the day for the win, and after a handful of podiums in the last several years, landed Brosnan at the top of the box.
Benoît Coulanges on his way to 5th in the final
Troy Brosnan on the top of the podium
Elite Women Results:
Elite Men Results:
Photo Credit: Sven Martin