The Austrian men test MTB World Cup course

07 June 2011 13:34

Instead of slalom and giant slalom gates, the Austrian tech skiers Marcel Hirscher, Manfred Pranger, Christoph Dreier and Wolfgang Hörl encountered a mountain bike World Cup piste studded with steep steps, rough sections with roots sticking, tight turns and rapid sections in the bike park in Leogang.

Marcel Hirscher felt completely at ease on the Four Cross and downhill World Cup piste in Leogang. (Photo: Andreas Schaad). "I had a complete flow experience", the Salzburg native said, who considers trial bike riding as one of his favorite hobbies. He put down a performance that made it difficult for his colleagues Pranger, Dreier and local hero Wolfgang Hörl to live up to on the 2.6 km long World Cup downhill track. Hirscher also did not seem to mind the contact with the ground every once in a while. "We will certainly not forget this training session for a long time and will continue to talk about it. It was super cool and just a great experience. My fullest respect goes the World Cup bikers who throw themselves down the track with up to 70 mph. That’s absolute madness. "

Manfred Pranger was surprised: "I actually believed that this is going to be an easy and not very exhausting training session but I had to revise my expectations. This track is incredibly strenuous and tiring. "

This slightly different training session in the mountain-bike park Leogang is not too far away from actual slalom skiing, said the new technical group coach Michael Pircher: "It was a perfect change for us. Because of the many turns, the training in the bike park was quite similar to an actual slalom training. You also have to quickly adapt to different conditions and it is incredibly stressful. We will certainly return to Leogang some other time. "

Local hero and initiator Wolfgang Hörl was happy to have been able to show his colleagues what is happening in summer in Saalfelden Leogang: "Today it was my first time on the track and I am really impressed what the people from Leogang have put up here."

In a few days (10th-12th June) the world´s best mountain-bikers will be in Leogang at the UCI Mountain-bike World Cup in downhill and four cross.