- schladming UCI world cup – part II -

Last Saturday was the downhill event for both Men and Women in Schladming.  So how much did we enjoy this?

For me it can be summed up as seeing something new is a good thing.  Every day we are out in the mountains and the majority of mountain bikers are on hardtails, especially the locals.   We can head over to Leogang which is just down the road to see the ‘jump boys’ but the fact is (pointing out the obvious) these downhill bikes just look huge.  Add to this, the full helmets, googles and back, neck, arm and leg protection you might think you were witnessing a completely different sport.  And then we watched the downhillers race!

Yes, we were watching the best in the world but it was great to watch the sheer aggression of these riders.  Even off-camber muddy sections the fat tires gripped amazingly and their speed and power in and out of corners was an eye opener.   We managed to get a few shoots of the downhillers, Manu worrying that I was a little too close to the action.

To me the riders that stood out were Rachel Atherton winning approximately thirteen seconds ahead of second place.  It looked like she owned that downhill course and the lines that she managed to find justified the winning margin she achieved.  The buzz as the Men’s downhill event started was fantastic.  The DJ upped music and the crowds were really getting into it.  Pop over to freecaster.tv to check out the event.

We watched most of the Men’s downhill by the bridge, slightly up the slope, so you might actually spot my baldy head on some of the freecaster videos!  Watching Steve Peat tear down the mountain was great, he has a huge amount of respect from the crowd and just has an obvious passion for the sport.  A true pro.

By the time the race had finished we could still a number of cross country riders (on normal sized bikes!) practising around the course.  Hopefully next year we’ll come over for the full event.  Four Cross, Downhill and Cross Country and make a long weekend out of it.

Back home we checked out the UCI site and realised that there are three events (two in Austria and one in Italy) all within three hours from the farm.  Now back to enjoying reality and our riding in Ellmau!