The season highlights from Saalfelden Leogang
The 2022 bike season in Saalfelden Leogang is now just a great memory. On November 3, the last mountain bikers rolled through the trails of the Epic Bikepark Leogang. This leaves the Asitz to the hikers, who will be able to enjoy the golden autumn weather until the season changes again and snow begins to fly. It is the perfect time to recap the incredible 21st bike season while giving a glimpse into what the future holds. For us, the 2022 season was littered with highlights, starting with perfectly manicured trails and smooth lines. Then, mid-June saw the double World Cup take place. With it, we saw Bikepark Leogang’s fan community grow as the annual number of visitors increased again. In addition to the excitement of the world cups, a raffle with an epic prize, the "Clean the trail days," and the BIKE Festival provided plenty of variety and entertainment.
A successful year will lead to big things in the next
While proudly looking back on this year, Leogang can already begin looking forward to the next: "We have been able to welcome so many smiling faces this year in the valley. Our builders have really stepped on the gas, and the lines and trails were always in the best possible condition. A big thank you to everyone who visited us because they are the ones who make our bike park epic. For 2023, we definitely have one or two exciting innovations in the pipeline again in terms of the trails, but currently, we can't reveal any more specific details. The bike park will be open again in 2023 from May to November," reports Kornel Grundner, Managing Director of Leoganger Bergbahnen.
As in the past, the large summer raffle and the "Clean the trail days" were well received. On three separate days this season, bike park guests were invited to join the bike rescue team, bike school guides, and Leogang's bike club athletes in cleaning anything that did not belong on the trails. Again, numerous hard-working helpers combed the mountain removing any waste. At the end of the day, all volunteers were invited to enjoy a pizza dinner. The raffle also saw increased participants this year, as riders scoured the trails for clues towards the "Epic Bike Package". At the season's end, one lucky rider won the epic package and was awarded products such as, a Scott Gambler, a large EVOC travel set, a GoPro Hero 10, and numerous other products from long-standing partners of the bike park.
Leogang sees double World Cup excitement
For the second time, Saalfelden Leogang and the Epic Bikepark hosted a UCI double World Cup. For the second time in a row, the winners in both cross-country World Cup races were Loana Lecomte and Mathias Flückiger. However, it's not just the victors who had a memorable time in Pinzgau. 21,500 spectators created an excellent atmosphere for all riders, staff, and mountain biking fans.
Just as in years past, the downhill race once again offered gripping drama. Local hero Vali Höll showed nerves, and crashed dashing her hopes of the top step. She would finish in sixth place. On the men's side, Andreas Kolb was able to channel his nerves and became the first Austrian man to stand on a downhill World Cup podium. For Kolb, who regularly trains at the Leogang’s bike park, it was the start of an outstanding season. He secured the European Champion title and four more podiums from five World Cup races. As a result, the Austrian ended his season in fourth place in the overall World Cup standings.
On June 15 to 18, 2023, a "super event" from the newly organized Mountain Bike World Cup will be held for the first time in Austria's largest biker region Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn. In addition to downhill and cross-country races (XCC and XCO), riders of the Enduro World Series (EWS) will also be battling to take home top honors in this massive event.
If you want to look further into the future, you can also get excited about the third UCI Mountain Bike World Championship in Pinzgau. From August 30 to September 3, 2028, Saalfelden Leogang will once again become the global center of mountain biking when the battle for the rainbow jerseys in the disciplines of downhill, XCO, XCC, and E-MTB enters a new round.
"We are delighted with the season and events in Saalfelden Leogang. Mountain biking is booming more than ever, and we have the right offers for established, and new fans of our beloved sport – the increase in visitors reflects this. We were able to hold events such as the Double World Cup and the BIKE Festival again, as usual, and with the Mountain Bike World Cup and the World Championships in the coming years, we were again able to secure more highlights for our guests. We will see mountain biking at the highest level – very big names again in Saalfelden Leogang," says Marco Pointner, Managing Director of Saalfelden Leogang Touristik.