UCI DH MTB World Cup Round 4 - Leogang
After the Fort William festivities going down last weekend, the Madison Saracen factory race team headed right across Europe to Leogang, Austria for the next stop on the UCI Downhill World Cup series. Whilst the weather was unexpectedly good in Scotland, it sure was a different story in Leogang with mist and rain on the cards.
The team's British roots sure paid off when it came to riding the damp tracks on offer and the team pulled off yet another solid performance. Matt Simmonds put together a great run to take ninth in the quali runs, whilst Marc Beaumont improved on his Fort William performance taking 32nd spot. Both Manon Carpenter and Matt Walker secured safe runs to take 3rd and 4th respectively, all ready to tackle finals day with guns blazing.
Although the weather dried up a little on Sunday, the track was still damp for the junior race in the morning. Still nursing a broken finger, Matt Walker crossed the line in 7th. Rest assured Matt will be hunting for the podium again at Lenzerheide next month.
After last year's DQ disaster, Manon was happy to make it down the track with a solid run and took 5th place, with Rachel Atherton storming to a record breaking 10th successive World Cup win. If there's anyone that can knock her off that top spot, it's Manon and we can't wait to see what a month's time brings us.
Then came the men's division. Marc Beaumont was first up, he pushed his run hard and improved on the previous day's performance to take a well deserved 26th place, just half second outside of the Top 20.
Although Matt Simmonds benefited from some of the best conditions all weekend, he struggled to adjust to the extra pace and a couple of little mistakes saw miss out on a top 10 finish, he'll come away with a solid 12th place nonetheless, and a heap of experience that he'll take to the next round.
Next stop is Lenzerheide, Switzerland on 9-10 July. We're looking forward to seeing the team perform and carry on with growing momentum. In the mean time, catch up with the UCI final highlights video and a full gallery of the Madison Saracen Team's adventures below (photos by Duncan Philpott).