Photo Story: Andreas Kolb Looks Back at his 2022 Race Season

Dec 16, 2022 at 3:09
by Atherton Racing  

Words by Andreas Kolb. Photography by Dan Griffiths, Jack Tennyson, Austrian Cycling & Single Speed Media.

This year has been the best of my life, when everything came together - bike, team, the riding with Charlie and how much we push each other, it wasn’t all plain sailing but I couldn’t be happier or more stoked to do it again in 2023.

I was really happy with how my offseason went. I spent a lot of time in Wales with the team and we made some good progress with the bike setup.

End of March it was already time for the first world cup in Lourdes and the track looked like it would suit Charlie and me well. I was fired up to finally go racing again.

I remember my race run really well (which is never a good sign) but it felt like I was on the limit and I was sure this is going to be a sick a result. P22 with a big time gap to the top ten was definitely a big hit for my mental game.

Next up was the Sea Otter Classic where I decided last minute to race the Dual Slalom. It was the first time for me racing Dual and I landed on the podium which I was super stoked about! And it made me wonder if I could transfer the pace I had there onto a DH track.

I started to push really hard and definitely got out of my comfort zone to get to that next level. This was simply too much and I began to have big crashes.

Sadly one of them ended with a broken elbow and I had to miss the second world cup in Fort Bill.

Luckily I didn’t need surgery and after 3 weeks I was already back with the team for world cup number 3 in Leogang. It was definitely early to come back but I just couldn’t miss the good times with my team mates.

The struggle was real riding one of the toughest tracks out there right after injury, but I just kept myself calm and was simply enjoying riding.

After having a horrible last practice run crashing hard and nearly missing the start because of bike issues, I reminded myself again to simply have fun and enjoy the home crowd. Out of this mindset something insane happened. For the first time I finished inside the top ten and straight onto the podium.

Getting my first podium in front of the home crowd with so many friends and my family watching was the best felling ever! It also was the first elite men WC podium for Austria and Atherton Bikes. A day I will never forget!

After Leogang, we went straight to Crankworx in Innsbruck and after Sea Otter I couldn’t resist to race another Dual Slalom. I was able to keep everything together in the slippery conditions and ended up with the win. I really surprised myself with this one.

To be European champion was always one of my biggest goals in the last few years. This year I finally made it happen. Standing up there next to one of my best friends David Trummer in 2nd place, made it even better.

Seeing Rachel back in action in Lenzerheide was impressive. With nearly no preparation, she qualified 7th and finished 6th in finals.

After my first podium in Leogang, I had doubt that I would do it again this season. But then, I made it back on the podium in Lenzerheide, which was a huge mental boost for me.

Spraying champagne in Andorra together with the biggest legends of the sport like Gwin and Bruni felt like a childhood dream.

My first single digit number. It´s been a long time coming!

Things started to get better and better! I scored another podium in Andorra on a track I wasn’t feeling too great on. After that I finally made it into the top 3 in Snowshoe and it was my 4th podium in a row. Never would I have ever believed that would happen this season.

Between Bernhard Kerr, Ronan Dunne and myself, 3 Conti riders made it on the podium that day.

After Snowshoe I struggeled with some weird illness in Mont Saint Anne. Doing a full run on that brutal track was nearly impossible so I had to dig deep that weekend. My racerun started off strong, with splits inside the top 10. A mechanical in the bottom section ruined all my hopes for a good result and placing 44th, I lost important points for the overall standings.

After a well needed break, it was time for world champs in Les Gets. This year’s track was one of the fastest and gnarliest tracks I´ve ever seen. It took me time to get out of my comfort zone, but on race day I started to feel good and I knew I could get a medal. In my race run I rode like never before this season. I felt comfortable on the highspeed section and I hit every corner pretty much perfect. Halfway down I got too greedy and I ended up hitting a tree, so the race was over. I’m still happy with that weekend because I unlocked a new level for me.

Going into the last world cup with a top 5 plate was a crazy feeling. With three riders behind me with only a 3 point difference, I knew it was going to be hard to keep that number.

Val di Sole has been my favourite track for many years and I knew this was going to be an unreal weekend. When I won timed practice for the first time and quali the next day, I was blown away. I started to feel the pressure for race day.

I didn’t show my best in my finals run, but it still was enough for 2nd place, which happened to be my best result ever. Still, I was bummed in the first few minutes because I wanted that win so bad.

When I realized that I made it onto the overall podium, I couldn’t stop smiling. I suprisingly moved up one rank and ended up 4th in the overall.

My goal was to get one podium this season and I ended up with 5, and the overall podium too. Receiving my overall trophy was something else.

Roosting Pierrons face with champagne will never get old, and hopefully something I will get to experience many more times.

Re-signing with this crew for another two years feels awesome. Everybody in the Team became like family members to me and I can’t wait to see what 2023 has in store for us!


  • 24 0
 Well done Andy so happy for you that you were able to make it happen. They all so fast during practice but the timed runs count and that what turns a racer to a winning racer.
All the best for 2023. And also to your amazing team a lot of laughs. ✌️Lene
  • 13 0
 I’ve enjoyed watching him this year. Great moustache too!
  • 7 0
 Saustark, Kolben! Viel Erfolg für die 2023er Saison, all hail the Austrian Eagle!
  • 6 0
 Best stache in game! Damn good rider too.
  • 4 0
 So stoked to see his success & humble attitude. Keep up the hard work & all the best in 2023!!
  • 4 1
 Congratulations for a strong season Alexander! It was good to see you mixing up the podium places.
  • 3 0
 You’re a top boy that val di sole run was a real eye opener, to look that comfortable on a track like that was incredible
  • 4 0
 A great read & awesome ambassador for the sport!.. roll on 2023!..
  • 3 0
 Kolb had an amazing year and he seems like a great dude. He deserves all the love he's getting at the moment!
  • 1 0
 Really well done, nice to see you up there. My son is still stoked about the picture of you two in Val di Sole ! ( We chatted in the VDS pits and I could not resist telling you, that I raced one Worldcup 23 years ago)
  • 2 0
 Andy is one of the most charismatic riders. And I think we will see some wins in the next years!
  • 1 0
 Friendly, funny and down to earth guy, this Andy!
And apparently, f*cking fast on a bike too!
All the best for the 2023 season Andy!
  • 1 0
 Unbelievable achievement. Andi is one of the nicest guys on and off the bike. One of my season highlights watching him live in Val Di Sole and celebrating with him.
  • 1 0
 Kolb should have been nominated for rider of the year, Kid made the biggest jump in results this year, on a brand new Rig. Great to watch an underdog do it in real time!
  • 2 0
 Well done, rooting for you in 2023!
  • 2 0
 Most exciting rider of the year if you ask me. Absolutely smashing.
  • 1 0
 Would have been nice a last shot and litle humor/humility/words from Hardline retirement...
  • 1 0
 Well done Andi, great riding and well deserved.
  • 1 0
 What a season, well done!
  • 1 0
 Well done AK, looking forward to your next season, keep charging champ!
  • 1 0
 So good to see another rider gettin after them big dawgs! Keep it up AK!
  • 1 0
 That European Champion's jersey looks good on you Andi!

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