RD 2: Leogang, Austria

The second round of the UCI DH World Cup moved just across the border to the breathtaking Leogang, in the Austrian Tyrolian Alps.

Looking a little different from the 2022 race here, the 2023 track was dry, dusty and unbelievably fast. Building on the postive results from Lenzerheide, the Continental Nukeproof Factory Racing team of Ronan Dunne, Chris Cumming, Veronika Widmann and Louise Ferguson were feeling confident sitting in the top 5 in the team rankings.

The new format of a semi-final and final dictated that practise starts on Thursday followed by qualifying Friday and both Finals taking place on the Saturday. The Continental Nukeproof Factory Racing team, despite taking some getting used to, are enjoying the challenge of the new format the opportunity for more time on track.


First up in the Qualifers were Veronika Widmann and Louise Ferguson, both putting down solid runs to progress to the Semi-Finals. Chris Cumming was next out of the start gate with a strong clean run but just not quite enough to take him into the Semi's, a brutal reminder of how tough the new format can be.
Intermittent showers throughout qualifying meant riders were having to adapt to changing conditions in order to secure their spot in the Semi-Finals. Putting down consistest runs were Harry Molloy and Ronan Dunne, both gaining places in Saturday's Semi- Finals.
Saturday bought more dry weather for the Semi's, drying up the track significantly and resulting in the fast sections of motorway style track being instrumental in how the day unfolded. Louise Ferguson was first out the start gate for the Female Elite's and put a clean run down, just not quite making it into the 15 top spots for the Final, Lou knows there is more in the tank and is looking forward to more World Cups and getting to grips with the format. Italian National Champion Veronika Widmann put a incredible time down to make it through to the afternoon Final.
Harry Molloy proving his skills both as a team manager and a ride gave a great ride to just miss out on the elusive top 30 spots. With Ronan Dunne posting an incredible top 15 time to progress to the Finals.

Final's bought a little more wind, making some of the bigger bike park features gnarlier than normal but Veronika Widmann showed her strength and skills to put herself into P10 overall for the weekend, and secure some all important overall points.
Team mate Ronan Dunne showed why he is one of the most exciting World Cup riders of 2023 securing an incredible 8th position, just 0.4 seconds off the podium, an incredible achievement for the young talent which the whole team were so stoked to be part of.
The Continental Factory Racing Team continue the season into Italy for the infamous Val Di Sole World Cup 29th June- 2nd July. Don't forget to tune in to all the action here.  

Check out the Continental Nukeproof Factory team in action

Watch the highlights from each round here

With big thanks to all the sponsors for the 2022 season