Leogang. A long standing venue for World Cup (and Championship) racing, and a course that has often come under fire for not including enough raw technical sections. ‘Too much bike park’ they said, so this year the organisers decided to cut a fresh line through the loam of the forest.

Soft turns snaking through the trees, which looked spot on and got riders excited in track walk, before taking a beating from the huge storm that rolled in later in the day. Initially practice on Friday morning was a case of avoid the bog, then things began to get exposed – roots that is, and a lot of them. Riders were flying around left, right and centre, but later in the day things rutted up and by all accounts the new sections are going down a treat with racers.

With weather forecasts mentioning possibility of late afternoon storms this weekend things could get quite interesting for Saturday qualifying and Sunday’s finals. Here’s hoping we don’t see a deluge like Thursday’s…

All photos by Seb Schieck.

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