The 2021 UCI World Cup Downhill season began this past weekend in Leogang, Austria, after a several-week delay due to Covid-19. Maxxis riders were finally able to get between the tape this past weekend and at their fullest potential in Leogang. The track was slow and slippery during practice and qualifying, especially in the crucial lower woodlands segment. On a muddy course on Friday, Maxxis riders Troy Brosnan (Canyon Collective) and Vali Höll (Rockshox Trek Race Team) qualified first in their respective categories for Leogang race.
The sun came out for finals on Saturday morning, which meant racers had to contend with very different conditions than what they had been practising in all week. As the Elite Women's race got underway early in the day, the track was still muddy but drying off. Holl (who was making her Elite debut) was the last woman down the track as the quickest qualifier. Holl was ahead at each split along the course, riding cleanly and in control. She had a slight collision as she rounded the final left-hand bend into the finish straight, putting the win out of reach.
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Even with the crash, Holl finished a remarkable second place, just 1.412 seconds behind the winner, Camille Balanche. Fellow Maxxis rider Marine Cabirou (SCOTT Downhill Factory) joined Vali on the podium, taking fourth place.
With the sun continuing to shine and the track drying out further, Brosnan made a last-minute decision to switch from mud tyres to dry tyres. The Maxxis Shorty tyres he rode in qualifying were swapped out for a pair of Minion DHRs, and the gamble paid off for Troy as he took the win by a mere 1.235 seconds.
Rounding out the weekend, Jackson Goldstone (Miranda Factory Team), at his first UCI World Cup, took second in Junior Men, while Sophie Gutohrle (Bike Republik Gravity Team) and Izabela Yankova (Riders United) were first and third in Junior Women.
The 2021 World Cup season continues in Les Gets, France, July 3-4.
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