Madison Saracen 2018 - UCI World Cup 3: Leogang, Austria

 

Everyone was on a high from Fort William and it was now time to make the yearly pilgrimage to Leogang to complete the two week block of racing. The boys parted ways to fly across and the mechanics set off on their long haul drive to Austria. After a few hiccups, we finally made it to the small town of Leogang, situated amongst some of the most picturesque mountains you'll lay your eyes on. With the weather shaping up to be hot and sunny, it was time to get everything set up, prepped and ready to race!

The track had some slight changes for this years race. Adding a few off-camber sections and utilising the terrain around the track, created a much more natural course than previous years. The lads were happy with the mix of bike park and “old school” sections meaning they came into practise day with positive minds and a drive to get the job done. 

Matt had a steady week. With his riding style more suited to the likes of Vallnord and Fort William he was still looking smooth and fast all week. With nothing on the track to worry about, it was all about keeping it composed and rubber side down.  With a strong qualifier, Matt placed himself in 14th, adding to the confidence he was carrying from Fort Bill. Race day soon came around and it was time to put it all together. Any mistake on this track would cost you the race due to the times being ridiculously tight… Nip made a mistake at the top blowing his feet off which cost him a large chunk of time. From there on out he had a clean run placing him into 31st, just 7 seconds back with a marginally big error.

Coming into round 3, Danny was suffering a cold and had completely lost his voice, but on a positive… it was nice and peaceful in the pits this week! His bike set up was on point after finalising the details with Dave and he was feeling ready to give it his all. A solid qualifying run with a flat tyre at the bottom would position him into 31st only 6 seconds back. He knew exactly what to do and with all green lights up until that point, it was looking good for finals. It was time to put it down on the final run, he was feeling confident. With such a fast, short track, times were beyond tight. Danny finished in 12th taking all the positives from the race and is using it as building blocks for the rest of the season. 

El Tejón, aka Alex, had yet another great week. His practice runs were nothing but precise and effortless. Along with Matt he had a great qualifier and slotted himself into a lovely 19th. Whilst teaching us all some useless Spanish words and phrases, he was ready to put the power down for his final run. Alex becomes very focused and knows his ability and what he is capable of… just like Matt, the tight times bit back! He finished in a solid 30th place. Alex looks froward to getting on home soil in a few weeks when we head out to Vallnord for a real mans track!

Next up is Val di Sole and from what we know… everyone loves the rough, natural and rugged track that lays in the dark woods of Italy!