Pinkbike Primer: Everything You Need to Know Ahead of the Leogang DH World Cup 2023

Jun 13, 2023 at 14:03
by Ed Spratt  
Style king Kade Edwards had a few bobbles yet remained in the top 20.

We are back with another packed weekend of World Cup racing in 2023 as the DH series makes the trip to Leogang. This week we will see another packed schedule of racing as the Juniors get a first taste of this years course on Wednesday. Here is everything you need to know ahead of the 2023 DH World Cup's second round in Austria.

What happened at the Last Round?

Jordan Williams turned up the heat after a solid qualifying and semi finals performance.

Under the new race schedule, it was the Junior racers who kicked things off early on Friday in Lenzerehdie with the flat-out racing bringing two fresh faces to the top step of the podiums as Erice Van Leuven and Christian Hauser took home their first wins at their first Junior World Cups.

The Elite Women showcased another historic win for Rachel Atherton as she took home her 40th World Cup win. Half a second back from Rachel and Camille Balanche just missed out on a win at home as she ended the weekend with a 2nd place finish. After not riding in qualifying because of an injured knee Nina Hoffmann showed her strength coming into the season as she secured 3rd.

There was another historic moment in the Elite Men's racing as Jordan Williams piloted his Specialized Demo to the top spot on the podium at his first Elite World Cup. Loris Vergier was the closest rider to the young talent ending his day 0.495 seconds back. Loic Bruni couldn't match the speed of his teammate and crossed the line third with Finn Iles also putting a third Specialized inside the top five.

Elite Women

1st. Rachel Atherton: 3:07.514
2nd. Camille Balanche: 3:08.048
3rd. Nina Hoffmann: 3:08.301
4th. Vali Höll: 3:09.270
5th. Marine Cabirou: 3:11.118

Elite Men

1st. Jordan Williams: 2:39.222
2nd. Loris Vergier: 2:39.717
3rd. Loic Bruni: 2:39.907
4th. Laurie Greenland: 2:40.058
5th. Finn Iles: 2:40.232

Junior Women

1st. Erice Van Leuven: 3:22.247
2nd. Valentina Roa Sanchez: 3:26.524
3rd. Lisa Bouladou: 3:27.660
4th. Vanesa Petrovská: 3:34.182
5th. Aimi Kenyon: 3:40.255

Junior Men

1st. Christian Hauser: 2:48.776
2nd. Bodhi Kuhn: 2:50.396
3rd. Hugo Marini: 2:51.775
4th. Henri Kiefer: 2:51.984
5th. Ryan Pinkerton: 2:52.000

Christian Hauser was on it all weekend and was rewarded with the win in junior men.
Rachel Atherton attacking the lower section on her way to a surprise second place qualie.

Camille Balanche looking for the win on home soil.
Jackson Goldstone would like that one back just missing the podium in his first Elite race.

You can view the full elite results here.

Who is Leading the Overall?

After the first round of the 2023 season, it is Erice Van Leuven, Christian Hauser, Rachel Atherton and Jordan Williams who lead the overall standings.

Elite Women


Elite Men


Junior Women


Junior Men


Where is the Second Round?

Juniro series leader Gracey Hemstreet took third in the drying mud.

The second round of the 2023 series sees riders head to the familiar venue of Leogang for another flat-out weekend of racing. Luckily the weather is looking good this week so we may get a dry woods section that has caused plenty of issues since it was first introduced during the World Champs in 2020.

No rain That ll do pig.
Fourth for Amaury Pierron after coming down fastest with only a few riders to go.

It s not every day an unknown rider in a national jersey lands on the podium but the top pros had to make some room for Louise Anna-Ferguson today.
X-rated style from Frixtalon.

What's the Track Like?

Ben Cathro takes us down the hazardous 2022 Leogang downhill World Cup track in the wet.

When and What Racing is Happening this Weekend?

Mille Johnset entering the off camber rut zone in the best shape it been since trackwalk.

The schedule provides non-stop action and a tough few days for riders with not a lot of time to rest. Here is a look at what you can expect to find happening this weekend.

All times CEST

Wednesday, June 14
• 14:00-17:00 // Training - Juniors Only

Thursday, June 15
• 08:30-12:00 // Training - Group B
• 12:00-15:30 // Training - Group A
• 15:45-16:00 // Qualifying - Junior Women
• 16:00-17:00 // Qualifying - Junior Men

Friday, June 15
• 08:30-10:30 // Training - Group B
• 10:30-12:30 // Training - Group A
• 12:45 // Finals - Junior Women
• 13:15 // Finals - Junior Men
• 14:00 // Qualifying - Elite Women
• 14:40 // Qualifying - Elite Men

Saturday, June 10
• 08:30-9:30 // Training - Qualified Women
• 09:30-10:30 // Training - Qualified Men
• 10:45 // Semi-Final - Elite Women
• 11:20 // Semi-Final - Elite Men
• 13:00 // Finals - Elite Women
• 14:00 // Finals - Elite Men

Note: All times are local and subject to change by the UCI/event organizer.

What's the Weather Expected to be?

Despite some moody skies we were treated to a dry day in Leogang.

Leogang has produced some tricky conditions over the past few years but it looks like riders are in for a dry week.

Wednesday, June 14

Partly sunny and beautiful // 22°C // 25% probability of precipitation // wind 7km/h

Thursday, June 15

Sunshine and some clouds // 20°C // 25% probability of precipitation // wind 7km/h

Friday, June 16

Periods of clouds and sun // 18°C // 25% probability of precipitation // wind 6km/h

Saturday, June 17

Partly sunny // 20°C // 25% probability of precipitation // wind 7km/h

Weather forecast as of Monday, June 12 from Accuweather.

What Happened Last Time in Leogang?

The third round of the 2022 Downhill World Cup in Leogang provided a day of incredible racing. In the Junior Racing, Phoebe Gale laid down a dominant run to pull ahead of the fastest qualifier Jenna Hastings by 14 seconds. Round one and two winner Gracey Hemstreet had to settle for third place, just over 15 seconds off the pace. For the Junior Men, it was Jordan Williams who pulled ahead of Jackson Goldstone by four seconds. A great performance by Lachlan Stevens-McNab put him in third place.

Camille Balanche proved she was once again the rider to beat in Leogang after a perfect and controlled run saw her take the win by over 11 seconds. Myriam Nicole had some problems at the top of the course but kept it clean for the rest of the course to take second place. Eleonora Farina also had a great run to secure third. The Elite Men saw a first-time World Cup winner as Matt Walker just bested Danny Hart to the line by 0.325 seconds. Angel Suarez had an amazing run to take third one and a half seconds back.

Elite Women

1st. Camille Balanche: 4:08.218
2nd. Myriam Nicole: 4:19.586
3rd. Eleonora Farina: 4:24.281
4th. Louise-Anna Ferguson: 4:29.876
5th. Monika Hrastnik: 4:30.258

Elite Men

1st. Matt Walker: 3:28.816
2nd. Danny Hart: 3:29.141
3rd. Angel Suarez: 3:30.370
4th. Amaury Pierron: 3:30.530
5th. Andreas Kolb: 3:31.249

Junior Women

1st. Phoebe Gale: 4:28.749
2nd. Jenna Hastings: 4:42.853
3rd. Gracey Hemstreet: 4:43.949
4th. Delia Da Mocogno: 4:48.373
5th. Vanesa Petrovská: 4:52.766

Junior Men

1st. Jordan Williams: 3:39.314
2nd. Jackson Goldstone: 3:43.318
3rd. Lachlan Stevens-McNab: 3:43.969
4th. Davide Cappello: 3:44.172
5th. Remy Meier-Smith: 3:53.407

Who has Won here Before?

Camille Balanche stops the clock a massive 11 seconds up on her competition.

Camille Balanche has been unstoppable in Leogang since she took the World Champs title here in 2020. The men's racing hasn't seen quite the dominance in recent years so we could see another new winner in final this weekend.

Elite Men

2022: Matt Walker
2021: Troy Brosnan
2020//Worlds: Reece Wilson
2019: Loic Bruni
2018: Amaury Pierron
2017: Aaron Gwin
2016: Aaron Gwin
2015: Aaron Gwin
2014: Josh Bryceland
2013: Steve Smith
2012//Worlds: Greg Minnaar
2011: Aaron Gwin
2010: Greg Minnaar

Elite Women

2022: Camille Balanche
2021: Camille Balanche
2020//Worlds: Camille Balanche
2019: Tracey Hannah
2018: Rachel Atherton
2017: Tahnée Seagrave
2016: Rachel Atherton
2015: Rachel Atherton
2014: Manon Carpenter
2013: Emmeline Ragot
2012//Worlds: Morgane Charre
2011: Floriane Pugin
2010: Sabrina Jonnier

How to Follow the Racing?

Tune in to Pinkbike to catch all the Leogang coverage throughout the week with results, photo epics, bike checks, race analysis and more.

Author Info:
edspratt avatar

Member since Mar 16, 2017
3,050 articles

  • 42 1
 Everything I needed to know contained nothing I need to know about the wyntv and Ben Cathro coverage for this weekend
  • 6 0
 And yet this will all seem so trivial when the blockbuster extraterrestrial news is released after Leogang or later next week.
  • 7 0
 Ed Bull media coming in clutch
  • 2 0
 Wednesday and no track walk Wyn TV... I hope he's OK and I hope we get some track side interviews! Heal up Wyn! You're an essential part of the world cup DH coverage!
  • 1 0
 @bakenbikin: If you want Wyn content subscribe to his YT channel.
  • 1 0
 @suspended-flesh: yeah I am subscribed, along with the GT channel. No track walk wyn TV that I've seen. Hopefully dude is doing OK with the concussion and mangled hand!
  • 1 0
 @bakenbikin: You saw the Ed Bull Media House version of WynTV, then. Wyn was ambulatory and speaking on his issues. Ed will probably step up again if needed.
  • 20 0
 A year on, and I still enjoyed Cathros preview.

I especially loved the "lets see if I can case it.... I CAN" sort of stuff. It reminds me of the commentary/crap that my buddies and I give each other on our way down the mountain.

Good stuff.

Heal up my man!
  • 5 0
 You need to watch some of the Claudio track previews. Those are straight gold
  • 23 0
 I don't want to see DH race runs. I want to see close ups on middle aged men.
  • 16 0
 An update from the warm up zone, perferably during a race run, would be a nice touch also.
  • 7 0
 Amaury Pierron out with a broken neck: very concerning news. heal up quick dude. And UCI/ESO, please do more to protect the riders... even if the race has to be slower, I'd rather watch my favourite riders throughout the whole season than a ridiculously fast race with high attrition.
  • 1 0
 The riders steer their bikes and control their brakes. What do you mean "protect the riders"?
  • 1 0
 @suspended-flesh: watch the video. It has subtitles if you need them. He spells it out pretty clearly.
  • 2 0
 @slyfink: Thank you - I get what you meant now.
  • 7 0

there will be a livestream on redbull TV on Friday (xcc) Saturday (dh) and Sunday (xc). I think it's geo restricted to Austria
  • 7 0
 "Thursday, June 15
Friday, June 9
Saturday, June 10"

You're welcome.
  • 1 0
 you see, doctor stranger is here in PB or Leogang. haha
  • 2 0
 Now reads:

Wednesday, June 14
Thursday, June 15
Friday, June 15
Saturday, June 10

JFC, PB bespoke trolling me now or Marty McFly has joined the world cup tour.
  • 4 0
 I guess Vali's gonna be hungry for a win at her home worldcup, but either Camille or Rachel will take it
  • 21 0
 Nobody knows - that's why we watch.
  • 3 0
 From what I saw last week she's definitely hungry
  • 3 0
 CEST? Does Austria not follow daylight savings time?
Or am I the only one that is bothered by humanity not understanding how time zones work?
  • 4 0
 I am also bothered by time zones
Tho in my case, it is bc I do not understand how they work. Smile
  • 20 0
 @happyheeltoe: It is because the sun orbits around the Earth once each day. At noon, the sun is directly above Texas.
  • 4 0
 Cest is a dst time in central Europe, cet is the winter timezone, so they are correct.
  • 4 5
 @mi-bike: Some say the Earth orbits around the sun but agreed it is all relative. A bigger factor to be considered though is that the Earth spins around it's own axis. It takes a sidereal day (23h, 54min and some seconds) for the Earth to make a full revolution so one shouldn't ignore this aspect: the Earth revolves around its axis.
  • 1 0
 Talent vs Time:
Its unreal how good these junior riders are (Williams and Goldstone). they wee knocking off elites time as juniors last season and now see what Williams just did and who knows what Goldstone would have done if not for his appendicitis days before the race.
These young guns are raw talents and dialed already without much race experience like the elites. Most riders get better with time and takes few years to build up their speed and confidence amongst elite mens. Look at Greenland, Finn Iles, Daprela, Vergier and others. They were winning the junior races but took some years to win races or be consistently on the top 10. Not saying these riders are not talented but I am just wondering what Goldstone and Williams are eating for breakfast.
Having said that I think this has to be the year for Finn Iles and Laurie Greenland. Their pace is on the edge and consistent. If not for missing two races Finn Iles very well could have been the overall winner last year. I go for Finn Iles. les go!
  • 1 0
 Def agree about Jordan and Jackson, they are absolutely lit. But Daprela came into his first year elite on fire too. I think he was 3rd his first elite race? Consistent top 10s his first year and consistent podiums his second… until he crashed out twice at snowshoe
  • 1 0
 @kylereidmcc: Missed the facts on Daprela.
  • 4 0
 sea to sky kids represent!!!
  • 4 0
 Can we get a list of riders who are out because of injury?
  • 5 0
Reece W
Luke Meier-Smith

There's probably a few more.
  • 3 0
 Ed Masters
  • 2 0
 @BenPea: Matt Walker too I think
  • 3 0
 Getting big enduro vibes with these new semifinal points
  • 3 4
 The fact that the current points don't line up with peoples race positions in the finals is fucking stupid. Literally missing the entire point of dh
  • 3 1
 @gabiusmaximus: Except they largely do, with a few minor exceptions of a place or two.
  • 1 0
 No they dont... Look at the mens results. Finals race positions for p6 onwards in the overall points are a mess.
6,8,30,7,10,9,11,14,15,12,27,20,19 etc etc. Dh is no longer about who goes fastest down the hill. Which is kinda missing the point, no?
  • 1 0
 @gabiusmaximus: I see where you're coming from but DH has always had points for qualifying. Now there's just two sets of qualification races. I really don't see the problem (from a viewer & fan perspective) in getting more racing. If you don't think they guys are racing in that semi, I don't know what to tell you. If you don't want reward them for quality racing, then I don't know what to tell you, other than guys would dog it in semi's so long as they were protected. Honestly I don't think there's any one negative piece about this new format aside from the potential for rider fatigue and injury. It makes the overall title even more impressive and exciting for the fans. Riders have mostly had positive reviews as well. Kind of awesome they get two high-level race runs to really see how fast they can go.
  • 1 0
 @adamkat: The old qualis points structure really did mean that aberrations from the race positions in the points awarded were extremely rare. I know the guys are racing in the semi, but as you say, it is essentially just another quali. The difference is the points awarded for q2 are way too high, meaning the fastest riders in the final race runs dont necessarily get the most points. As last weekends race showed, the points are all over the place compared to finals race positions. IMO DH has always been about who can go fastest down the hill, 1 run, balls to the wall, do or die. The new format makes it more considered, more calculated, more boring. Save that shit for road bikes, DH should remain an extreme sport and all about racing down a hill, not just some easy to watch way for an audience of beer drinkers to while away a sunday in front of the tv.
  • 2 0
 Rough schedule for us in the Pacific time zone. Still excited for round 2 though!
  • 1 0
 Please explain the protected rider rules. Better yet, have a “Who’s Protected” section of these articles.

I don’t really get it.

Thank you.
  • 2 0
 From UCI Rules:

4.11.014 Protected riders to the semi-final are:
1. riders with season long race numbers (i.e. ranked in the top 5 women elite and the
top 10 men elite of the final UCI World Cup standings of the previous season)
2. the best ranked riders from the current UCI World Cup standings, that are not
included in point 1 above, until a total of 10 women elite and 20 men elite are
3. if any riders as described under 1. and 2. above do not confirm participation at an
event they will not be replaced.

Protected riders to the final are:
1. riders ranked in the top 3 women elite and top 3 men elite of the final UCI World
Cup standings of the previous season
2. the best ranked riders from the current UCI World Cup standings, that are not
included in point 1 above, until a total of 5 women elite and 10 men elite are reached
3. if any riders as described under 1. and 2. above do not confirm participation at an
event they will not be replaced
4. men and women junior riders ranked in the top 3 of the current UCI World Cup
standings. At the first UCI World Cup round of the season there will be no
protected junior riders.
5. If a rider is announced as retired, he is not eligible anymore as protected rider.
The announcement of the retired status shall be done in writing to the UCI before
31 December of the previous year.

For the first UCI World Cup round of the season, the top 10 women elite and the top 20
men elite of the final UCI World Cup standings of the previous season are “protected”
for the semi-final.
They must start in the qualifying round but qualify automatically for the semi-final in any
case. If the times of the protected riders are not among the 15 best times for women
elite or the 60 best times for men elite, they shall be allowed to ride in the semi-final in
addition to the 15 women elite and 60 men elite riders already qualified.
  • 2 0
 I really like watching dh world cup the leogang track. That stump garden looks so nuts.
  • 2 1
 RedBullTV will broadcast all Leogang races live and free in Germany and Austria!
  • 1 1
 What about Thailand?
  • 1 0
 Seeing as Stevie sealed the overall at Leogang 10 years ago Ima have to say I want one of the Canadians to win it.
  • 1 0
 Is the DH on Eurosport or is it just Cross-country?
  • 1 0
 Yeah the DH is there too mate
  • 1 0
 @bikeridingaled: Cheers bud,missed it last week so couldn't check
  • 5 8
 Only one thing I need to know about it…..WHEN WILL ROB AND CLAUDIO BE BACK TO MAKE DH COVERAGE GREAT AGAIN!!! Disappointed in the Ric and Cedric’s announcing on how everyone should be riding or why or just the obvious is a major understatement.
  • 1 1
 How about no one interviewing Rachel at the line or on the podium after her historic win? The freecaster days were better than this new coverage is.
  • 1 0
 If you gave 1 Fk you'd know what the score is ya mug.
  • 1 0
 Did Dan eat the chillies in the end?
  • 1 1
 If only Rob would post up a Race Companion "Rogan Style" with him doing the commentary.
  • 1 0
 Will be on Eurosport?? who knows...
  • 1 1
 Does anyone know why Amaury didn’t race? I haven’t seen any news.
  • 2 0
 Had a big crash. Hopefully OK..
  • 1 0
 @neimbc: Last year he raced after a bad crash in a Valnord practice session - definitely not following concussion protocol. Hopefully he's playing it a little safer. It's a harder decision for Amaury, since he doesn't need to be in peak form to win.
  • 1 0
 Crashed in practice, sore neck.
  • 3 0
 French MTB media interviewed the team manager who said he fractured his C5.
  • 2 0
 Commencal team posted that he broke his C5 and underwent surgery Monday night
  • 1 0
 @suspended-flesh: I'm so bummed. Sucks he's not gonna be in the points.
  • 2 2
 The masses will never get to see Jordan's historic run?
  • 1 0
 @CantClimb: wow, nice. Red bull used to recap the winning runs.. def miss that
  • 2 0
 @CantClimb: awful frustrating video. Miss Redbull replays :-(
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