Despite everything that’s happened, this year has seen a boom for the mountain bike industry. It’s been a year where immense numbers of people discovered their passion for gravity-oriented cycling and riding outdoors.
A rebuild of the ‘Hot Shots fired by GoPro’ line has added more airtime and adrenaline. Other new additions to the Riders Playground of the Epic Bikepark Leogang were ideal for riders with less experience. As the venue of the 2020 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships, the Salzburger Land province and Saalfelden Leogang were confronted with difficult scenarios, all of which were mastered in a disciplined and successful manner.
The Hot Shots fired by GoPro trail was especially well received by riders during 2020. Big jumps provided a lot of fun, airtime and adrenaline on the 3.1-kilometer-long trail (1.92 miles) with an altitude drop of 385 meters (1277ft). Riders were given the perfect trail to develop their jumping skills. Some of the tables are up to eight meters (26ft.) long and demand good riding skills. The Hot Shots trail, filled with tables and doubles, is suitable for experienced bikers and winds its way from the Asitz top station, through the forest, and leads to the ’Flow Link’ of the Epic Bikepark Leogang.
Bike playground for young and old
If you haven't spent that much time on your bike yet, you can get your first laps in, on the Riders Playground, which was significantly expanded in 2020. It’s located close to the Asitzbahn gondola and is considered one of the biggest beginners' areas in European bikeparks. The Mini Speedster is a new addition to that sector - for all those who want to get a taste of some Downhill fun. The second new track - the Maxi Line - is a mix of tables, drops and tight turns where newly learned skills can be put to the test. Since this summer, the Riders Playground also has a practice area with small obstacles for the Elements Outdoorsports Bike School, which is ideal for training basic bike skills, such as the Bunny Hop. For more comfort for young and old, there is also another new conveyor belt, which takes everyone in the Riders Playground comfortably to the two new lines as well as to the Velosolutions Pumptrack.
All in all, the Bikepark can look back on a successful bike season despite the challenges of 2020: "Even though we were only able to start two weeks later in spring due to Covid-19 and now had to close the Bikepark from November 2, overall, we have experienced an extreme upswing in the mountain bike sport", headshaper Reini Leitner says about this year's situation in Saalfelden Leogang.
Season highlight UCI 2020 Mountain Bike World Championships
The highlight this year was the World Championship, which took place in Saalfelden Leogang from October 7 to 11. The battle for the coveted rainbow jerseys took place in Pinzgau for the first time since 2012, this time in the disciplinces Cross-Country, Downhill and E-MTB. Even under difficult conditions, the event was a complete success. The sophisticated safety concepts and the disciplined implementation showed that international mountain bike competitions can be held even in difficult times. The athletes were especially grateful for Leogang hosting the World Championships which enabled a competition of strength at the highest level.
In particular the trail builders and shapers were faced with a big challenge before the Cross-Country World Championships: "We only got the news that we would take over the Cross-Country World Championships at the end of June, when the event in Albstadt got cancelled. Otherwise there would not have been an XCO World Championship this year. Until all permits for the track construction were received, it was already end of August. That means we only had 1.5 months to build a new XCO World Championship track," reports Reini Leitner.
In two teams of six to eight shapers, the new part of the Downhill course, as well as the Cross-Country course were completed at the end of September.
Double World Cup and new trails for 2021
Now that a satisfying bike season 2020 is over, Saalfelden Leogang is looking forward to the upcoming winter season, which is expected to start on December 4th. Preparations are already in full swing for 2021 with the first UCI double-header World Cup due to take place in Saalfelden Leogang from June 12-13, 2021. Following the World Cup, the BIKE Festival is scheduled from September 10-12 – also in the Epic Bikepark Leogang. Visitors will have the opportunity to exchange ideas with fellow bike fans during the festival, to test the newest bike models for 2022 and to participate in the Tour and Workshop Program in order to improve their bike skills and get to know the Salzburger Land and its trails even better. Watch out riders: There is some big news coming from Epic Bikepark Leogang in spring 2021. A lot is happening behind-the-scenes in the popular mountain bike region and it won’t get boring there.
Further information about the Epic Bikepark Leogang can be found on: bikepark-leogang.com, instagram.com/BikeparkLeogang and facebook.com/SaalfeldenLeogang.
Since 2020 Saalfelden Leogang, together with Saalbach Hinterglemm and Fieberbrunn, has become Austria's biggest bike region
The Skicircus, the combined name for the three regions during the winter season, was also working together during the summer, expanding their collaboration to a year-round effort, and creating Austria's largest bike region. The Saalbach Hinterglemm trails are only a stone's throw away from Epic Bikepark Leogang and together, the region offered seven mountains, nine lifts and over 70 kilometres of trails.
Upon request, all tours can be accompanied and led by qualified guides of the school Element Outdoorsports as well as an individual training to improve your skills.
To make your biking holiday absolutely perfect, special bike hotels such as Salzburger Hof, Bio Hotel Rupertus, Hotel Bacher, Hotel Riederalm, Hotel Ritzenhof, Mama Thresl, Hotel Krallerhof, Hotel Forsthofalm and Hotel Der Löwe and competent bike shops such as Sport Mitterer or Sport 2000 Simon are at your service: http://www.saalfelden-leogang.com/en/region-experience/bike/bikehotels
News and information about Saalfelden Leogang can be found on saalfelden-leogang.com, instagram.com/Saalfelden_Leogang or facebook.com/SaalfeldenLeogang.