Its no Schladming, so Danny Hart found other ways of having some fun, throw some shapes on the booters. His first WC podium last week should set him up well coming into the middle of the season. That one good result should really put his name up there on the board and he is dying for it. He chats about his day on the hill. "[audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/15_audio1.mp3"]"
And even if that wasn't enough, they have also got FMB's 26Trix slope style event on this weekend too. Qualis today saw 12 riders go through to the finals tomorrow. Great to see the park organising such a jammed out week of action. Big tuck no hander from Patrick Schweika on the big left hip.
Its 4X World Championships time and once again for the 3yr running now it is in Leogang. Running the exact same track, riders spent the day practicing for this evening qualys. Scott Beaumont out the gate and into his run. All Brits qualified and looking like someone may come home with a medal.
Practice ended today the way it started with the sun out. If the weather holds it will be bone dry by the AM, but with more rain forecast, who know which way it could go. Join us tomorrow for qualifying action from the hillside here in Leogang.
But the girls weren't the only ones on track making a mess of them selves, either witnessing a few big offs, or just the evidence of crashes on riders, the rain really did mix it up for the riders. Even in the wet its quite easy to come into sone sections far to hot and find yourself enjoying a root sandwich. Bruni crashed but still managed to look pinned through the rest of his run.
Getting muddy and getting loose. Although laying down a 3rd timed run, Tahnee still is finding it hard to keep on her bike. She goes down hard in the wooded section and bust up her hip. Should be good to race she talks about her day before retreating to rest it off. "[audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/25_audio.mp3"]"
Those clouds were filled with nothing but rain, and it felt like it dumped its whole load on us. A huge storm engulfed the track and put a hold to any proceedings. The gondola closed for a short period of time due to the lightening and all undercover areas were over crowded by people seeking shelter.
But just as quickly as the storm came, it went again and the sun started to come back out. Smashing out a few more runs to finish off the day, the track dried up surprisingly quick, and after talking around the pits most riders agreed that it didn't make much difference. "[audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/24_audio.mp3"]"
And then as if out of no where, although it was forecast, heavy black clouds started to roll over the hills of the surrounding mountains and headed straight our way.
The track soon puddled up and the dry dust that was this morning quickly turned into mud and ruts. A good thing for the track though, it really did need some rain to help cut it up split the field a little.
Another rider that missed out on this round last year due to injury, Aaron Gwin was getting the runs in all day and finishing off with a 4th timed run, he knows he has to top step this weekend if he is to keep on top of the overall. But with his team mate breathing down his neck, he will be pushing extra hard.
You really can send the wooded kickers in the mid section. Big stomp out the last berm in the woods and you are soon found 15feet up and hunting the backside of the landing, a big pump and into the next. Good flow through here is key to make the most of the pedal section to follow. Blenki boosting it high in practice today.
Stevie Smith back out on track for his 2nd round this year. A solid return place in Fort William halved his ranking number and puts him back in the top 80 for timed practice, where he put down a 2nd place, right in behind Gee! Stevie will be looking to repeat that same dramatic moment as last year when Stevie just pipped Gee to the post and sealing him the overall.
Dropping out of the top section and flying off the steep into the woods. The greasy roots make for an interesting change to the sun baked hard pack up top.
Brook Macdonald seemed to be getting to grips with the track after looking pinned all morning. He has missed out on a good ride all season so far the pressure is on. Missing out on this round last year due to injury put him at a little disadvantage but 8th here in Champs back in 2012 shows he can put down a run here.
Still pinned at almost 40. Riding in his special edition 40th Troy Lee lid, he just doesn't show any signs of slowing up. Looking quick in the morning practice but having a bit of complicated afternoon on track his feeling about this Austrian wonderland is mixed.
Not really a fan of the whole Bike Park tracks, Brendan puts on his brave face and tackles the track at hand. Keen to see more natural, tech track on the circuit! He talks about his day. "[audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/16_audio_01.mp3"]"
Tory's win in Fort William sent him right up the rankings and put him in direct competition for the overall. A good ride here would set him up nicely for the season. This track should be well suited to this solid all round rider.
Plenty of foot out flat out on this corner today, and thats in the dry, couldnt imagine how slick this corner would become n the wet. Joe Smith holding his line as he charges the top.
Picking the leaders jersey back in Fort William, Manon Carpenter is going into this round with the disappointment of last week behind her. Getting loose in the off camber part of the new top section. Manon also manages to pick up fastest timed run today, not much of an indicator for race runs, but a confidence boost either way.
Trying to keep her tyres securely attached to her rims, Rachel Atherton was getting the laps in. Post Fort William, Rachel went home for a few days of rest and extra training and has come to this round with fire in her belly. Im sure she is finding it hard to see that number 4 plate on the front of her bike.
The Shaw brothers inspecting lines together on track. Matching kit and eyebrows its hard to tell the two apart especially with such similar riding styles. After coming off of injury and moving up a category to Elite, Walker will be looking to set him self up a good result here, whilst Luca is back fighting for the leaders jersey int he Juniors.
A huge amount of rain fell on the track last night and the damage was soon obvious. Although pretty much dry in practice, a few holes had been opened up. Signs of how fresh this track really is.
A sun kissed morning of practice saw riders either really getting their flow on or just having a bit of a mare with it: Not getting the jumps dialled, getting caught out by the off camber sections or general line choice. Mixed feelings on the track here in Leogang...bit like Marmite!
Once passed through the track security, you take a moment to enjoy the view, then drop into three and a half minutes of tunnels and turns. Jill Kintner sending practice and feeling hunger for another podium after last weeks success at Fort William.
Austrian law states that all rider must wear full body armour, and when they said we will checking, they weren't lying. Commissaries at the top of the track were kicking out any one without, and the ones who were trying to pass off cardboard as pads. Rules are rules at the end of the day.
After a huge storm over night it has left the track wet and sticky, but with the sun beaming down on it and the low cloud quickly passing on, the track was set to dry out nicely for practice.
The finish arena, all set and ready for the crowds to swarm in. A big Red Bull presence here this week with their big F1 style set up on the deck, after all we are in their home country. Heading up lift bound today for some practice and the riders are keen to see how the bike park is rolling.
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With the rain coming down for the 2014 Leogang World Cup practice, things got a bit more interesting on the bike park track. Some loving the speed and some a bit bored of this place but either way everyone will be pinning it tomorrow for racing. The forecast seems to be changing but high in the mountains some rain would make for some interesting racing on terrain like this. Laurence was up on track to capture the first runs in Leogang, some boosting the jumps and others getting loose with the high speeds, enjoy the gallery and if you missed track walk yesterday then hit the links below...