Course Preview: XC Behemoth - Leogang XC World Champs 2020

Oct 7, 2020
by Matthew DeLorme  



For years we have been taking the piss out of Leogang for its DH track and to be honest, we didn't expect much from them in the way of an XC course. It may be time to take back all the trash talk. The Downhill track had been reworked and is looking incredible.

When so much attention is paid to one track in so little time to pull an event together in Covid times, one would think the other would suffer. Not so. Leogang hit it out of the park with the XC course. There is plenty of high-speed open fields and long climbs, but once the course enters the two main woods sections, things get wild. There are more roots and fresh loam than you can shake a stick at. Plenty of steep slippery descents. This one will be one for the books no matter what the weather does.

The more that loamy topsoil that comes off the greasier it s going to get.
The more that loamy topsoil that comes off, the greasier it's going to get.

Lots of lung-busting climbs here in Leogang followed by full-on descents.
Lots of lung-busting climbs here in Leogang, followed by full-on descents.

Yes there is plenty of open grass sections but they were nice enough to make it interesting here and there.
Yes, there are plenty of open grass sections, but they were nice enough to make it interesting here and there.

If only Val di Sole could take some design cues.
If only Val di Sole could take some design cues.

If the rain stops as forecasted for the race this mud will be like cement.
If the rain stops as forecasted for the race, this mud will be like cement.

To give the racers a rest they did include this short double track descent.
To give the racers a rest, they did include this short double track descent.

It s been raining. A lot. The ruts are getting deep....
It's been raining. A lot. The ruts are getting deep....

Tech zone of nations.
Tech zone of nations.

High speed greasy grass turns get pads.
High speed greasy grass turns get pads.

Them crash pads are already getting good use.
Them crash pads are already getting good use.

Lots of line choices. Passing will be interesting.
Lots of line choices. Passing will be interesting.

Big roots.....
Big roots.....

....more bigger roots.
....more bigger roots.

Just so the hillside doesn t disintegrate.
Just so the hillside doesn't disintegrate.

Full send.
Full send.

Plenty of support in that there rut.
Plenty of support in that there rut.

Roots are already getting polished.
Roots are already getting polished.

So much fun technical descending. If you are on a trail bike.
So much fun technical descending... If you are on a trail bike.

To be fair if you are riding a hardtail with a rigid seat post this is quite accurate. This course has some mega sections.
To be fair, if you are riding a hardtail with a rigid seatpost this is quite accurate. This course has some mega sections.

Those root mats are already getting exposed and things are looking tasty.
Those root mats are already getting exposed and things are looking tasty.

Dem ruts got deep after the ebikes tore through.
Dem ruts got deep after the ebikes tore through.

Tell us you don t want to ride that.
Tell us you don't want to ride that.

Get some grip.
Get some grip.

So much of the descending looks like this. Fresh cut and tasty.
So much of the descending looks like this. Fresh cut and tasty.

Sometimes you find a little gold when shooting the course preview.
Sometimes you find a little gold when shooting the course preview.

A bit of smooth woodland bike park to mix it up.
A bit of smooth woodland bike park to mix it up.



49 Comments

  • 110 1
 Never used to be a fan of XC, but over the past few years with the sport evolving to be more than "roadies in the woods" as I used to describe it. I now watch every WC XC race and own an XC bike. This course looks proper gnarly!
  • 21 0
 Same.... plus thinking about this track while breathing through your ears is humbling...
  • 39 0
 It's because "roadies in the woods" are now all riding gravel.

That said I'm guilty for riding gravel too, but for me it's a mountain biker's road bike.
  • 2 3
 This! (Sorry, I misclicked and downvoted this by mistake)
  • 24 1
 @dtroyan123: "misclicked and downvoted this by mistake"

This happens so much.

Feature request: instead of the "props already given" message, it would be nice if when a user re-clicked the up/down vote arrows, it un-did your action, like a toggle.
  • 1 12
flag entrecerros (Oct 7, 2020 at 17:44) (Below Threshold)
 They started to do the courses more technical and then went back, there is always a smooth line on those technical parts. And they added that stupid flat Short Track reces only for sprinters. This particular course looks quite interesting. Now we have to wait to the racers to put hardpack tires on their bikes and then complain about the difficulties of riding in these muddy conditions
  • 2 5
 Solution, run DH casing assegai front and back with cushcore and lower that psi. The course looks muddy but I reserve the term gnar for other things. Course could be easy but that all about bike choice. Make life as difficult as you think you need it to be. Welp, I'm off to ride Cypress on a unicycle.
  • 7 0
 Gnarly? I'm 99% certain that there is a dead body in that one picture titled "big roots" that those trees engulfed in a dark age gone by.

@mdelorme don't stand still near those things for long. Old Man WIllow is hungry!
  • 1 0
 @blowmyfuse: LOL I'll keep moving!
  • 31 0
 I was puckering and crashed 4 times just looking at the pictures. I don't have the skill to ride that on a set of Aspens!! For that matter, DHF either.
  • 17 0
 That looks downright frightening for the skinny, short nobby tires the XC racers usually run!
  • 8 0
 Lots of past race courses are at least this gnarly, just not photographed in the way this is that really illustrates the difficulty. The TV broadcast doesn't do it justice. I was at a wet Mont St Anne last year and it was downright treacherous.
  • 11 1
 Hardtail, dropper, 2.2 mud tires with plenty of clearance and keep it rubber side down.
  • 3 0
 Why do you suggest a hardtail?
  • 6 0
 @AndrewFleming: Some riders are actually considering riding a HT (from what I've seen on socials) which doesn't happen very often... I am thinking because there is a lot of climbing, mostly on smooth paths. So lighter bike might be the way to go because you don't really need the extra traction the FS gives you? Idk.
  • 9 0
 Man...cyclocross bike and toe studs maybe better. Hope these kids have been practicing running.
  • 6 0
 @Jango997: Certain FS designs are perfect for packing on mud and adding weight. That could be a reason alone to go with HT.
  • 1 0
 @AndrewFleming: The mud buildup is going to be pretty significant, bike could be pounds heavier at the finish line. A couple years ago when Albstadt WC was super muddy, some of the riders on hardtails wore through their chainstays in one race rendering the frames junk. Forecast is for the rain to stop tomorrow so no rain to wash the bikes clean, just packing on every lap. Also the course has a good bit of climbing, where you often see a handful of riders electing to go hardtail for an advantage.
  • 1 0
 www.instagram.com/tv/CGAWQtvAgd9/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Keegan and looks like Blevins? are on Hardtails
  • 8 0
 may be the first xc race i'm actually interested in watching. looks like a proper track.
  • 6 0
 The Nove Mesto track is pretty decent too! Races from last week are worth a watch.
  • 3 0
 @toddball: esp mens #2
  • 1 0
 @pancakeflatted: haven't made it that far yet...on XCC #2 tonight. Excited!
  • 8 0
 I guess i didn’t read the title correct!
I honestly thought this was a proper DH track.
  • 7 0
 I hope you found enough chanterelles to make a meal, Matt!
  • 7 0
 Fabulous photos, Matthew. Very well done.

"Root trees", anyone?
  • 2 0
 Excellent photos. Looks like the XC-racers will need to unwrap their mud tires. In XC-terms, this means going from Renegade to Fast Trak, or from Thunder Burt to Racing Ralph. Looking forward to it, and some parts of me wishes for really yukky conditions. Think this will let the unusual suspects shine more.
  • 2 0
 Great photos of what looks to be a brutal track in the wet & mud.
Here's the best track preview I've found so far. It was taken on the 6th when things where much drier.
Enjoy: www.youtube.com/watch?v=RveDf2kV8Yc
  • 1 0
 this is awesome! epic.
  • 3 0
 WOW this may be the best XC track i seen, congrats to the builders!!! Cant wait for race day
  • 1 0
 I believe the XC track differs slightly from the track used in the e-MTB races. Anyway, get your mud tyres out - looks like one tough track, and the added mud.... Epic racing guaranteed.
  • 2 0
 Based only on photos I would say that's some enduro course preview. Man those XC courses are getting more and more gnarly.
  • 2 0
 Trees don't explode in Austria, but roots do for certain. We Austrians are forest people, lest ye forget.
  • 1 0
 I'm looking forward to seeing the how these racers adjust their setup for these conditions. Tire choice, suspension, cockpit.
  • 2 0
 Wow, this course looks so fun! They nailed it
  • 2 0
 The XC descents look like a DH track from the early 90s.
  • 4 0
 DH from the 90's? thought they were mostly fire roads back then lol
  • 1 0
 @xrob: the Mont Sainte Anne track was more than just fire roads, had sections just like this through the woods youtu.be/EgYj0JQEI3A
  • 1 0
 Racing on the same sections that the e-bikes power climbed up and rutted doesn't sound like a good time.
  • 2 0
 Nino should consider raising his bars...
  • 1 0
 How many riders doing how many laps? Thats going to be so cut up by the end. I may have to watch this one....
  • 1 0
 @mdelorme Don't pick mushrooms, it's forbidden! Wink
  • 1 0
 Lol, are pressure washers allowed in the pit zones?
  • 1 0
 Thats insane!
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