The long awaited return to world class racing in 2020 saw the YT Mob in Austria for the UCI World Championships on an updated track in Leogang that had a lot of new woods sections that suffered heavily today in the autumn rain.
Despite the challenge thrown up by the mud, snow, cold and slippery roots, Oisin O’Callaghan became not only the team’s first World Champion, but Ireland’s too, when he dominated the Junior Downhill finals here today. Team mate David Trummer took home Silver in Elite Men’s, the best result ever by an Austrian man in downhill mountain bike racing, in what was an extremely tough afternoon for the world’s best.
On Friday in qualifying it was Angel Suarez who had a great result, finishing 9th and looking strong for today’s race. The Spaniard had a great run going, turning the lights green most of the way down, until getting the front wheel stuck in a rut, sending him over the handlebars. It took a long time to climb back up to his bike and he ultimately finished in P72.
Oisin, who had qualified in 8th place after a small crash in the final woods section after catching a slower rider, was keen to get the bike down today without any major errors. Despite the conditions being much worse than Friday, he not only took the hotseat but recorded a time 2 seconds faster than the qualifying winning time from Friday. Starting 23 riders from the end it was then a long nervous wait to see if any of the remaining 22 riders could better his time. In the end it was his performance in the lower woods that ensured a solid victory. Even more satisfying for the team and our title sponsor YT Industries was that the entire Junior podium was made up of finalists from our World Tour search for Young Talent from last year, so a big congratulations also to Dan Slack in 2nd and James Elliott in 3rd.
Oisin said: “As this is my first World Championships I just wanted to put down a solid run with not many mistakes, to see where I would end up. To be honest, it hasn’t sunk in yet properly. I’m gonna need some time for this to sink in, I’m so happy."
The men’s race was held in epic conditions and it took special skill to get down the hill without crashing or losing speed in the severely muddy woods. Dave showed great composure in keeping the bike upright and carrying speed wherever he could, and also choosing the right tires for the job, finishing almost 3 seconds ahead of 3rd place. Today he ran the new Maxxis Shorty’s front and rear on his custom YT TUES.
This is now Dave’s 2nd silver medal, to go with the one he took home from Champery in 2011 for the junior men’s downhill.
Dave said: "I had in my head all the way down that the bottom woods section was key, so even though I pushed in the upper sections, once I arrived at the lower woods I tried to stay calm and chill, and really focus on staying on the bike, losing as little time as possible, and this seemed to work for me today. I’m really happy and I think I need more time to realize exactly what I’ve done today."
The team is excited to head to Maribor tomorrow for the opening 2 rounds of the UCI World Cup, with the first race being deiced on Friday, and the 2nd one on Sunday, with all the action of course on Red Bull TV.