Under a blazing sun and with the fast track running in ideal conditions, Leogang once again put on an exciting race. With the time right and the margin for error zero, those who were able to hang it on the ragged edge of control for a full run came out on top.
In the juniors, Finn Iles was able to bounce back from a rough week in Fort William and a slow qualifer to nail the run he was after when it counted. With Matt Walker hot on his heals in second, there is now a rivalry for the overall heating up. In third we saw Atherton protege and World Cup rookie Kade Edwards on the podium for the first time.
With Rachel Atherton out, once again all the attention has shifted to Tracey Hannah and Tahnee Seagrave. With Tracey leading the series and setting the fastest time in qualifying she was certainly the favorite. But Tahnee has been so close so many times, and on the wrong side of luck even more than we can count with injuries over the years. No one would ever deny she has the potential to win, it has always been a question of when. This afternoon, however, that wait came to an end. In a nail biter of a final that came down to the very end, and a winning margin of just over half a second, Tahnee's day finally arrived. With three races and three winners this year's women's World Cup is shaping up to be one of the best ever.
Not to be outdone, the men's race too had some of the closest racing we have seen all year. Times were super tight with only seconds separating the top ten before Loris Vergier blew everyone's doors off with a blazing race run. The others tried as they might, but neither Troy Brosnan or Greg Minnaar could raise their game to challenge. It wasn't until Aaron Gwin, the final rider down the hill, that Loris really started to sweat it out on the hot seat. Gwin's splits were up, then down, then over a second clear after carrying blistering pace down the motorway in a speed tuck. Aaron nailed the final steep section of track to extend his lead, eventually roaring across the line with one and a half seconds to spare. Just as in the women's race we have now had three different male winners is as many rounds, and the incredible tight points race is going to make the 2017 World Cup a wild ride.
See you again in three weeks time as we head to the steep and infamous venue of Andorra.