Inside a difficult, eventful week in Leogang with Trek Factory Racing DH

The highs and lows at one of the toughest downhill races on the calendar

The downhill course in Leogang kept riders on their toes all week. It featured big sends, gnarly roots and narrow tree gaps, and thanks to rain leading up to the weekend, the track conditions were in constant flux.

Trek Factory Racing’s Loris Vergier and Kade Edwards did their best to wrangle a race that could not be tamed. Both had solid final runs after crashing in qualifying — Vergier taking seventh in the end, and Edwards 17th — but both left Austria feeling bittersweet about their performances. Their mild disappointment spoke volumes about how difficult the week was for everyone participating in the race.

Kade Edwards in flight.

There was no avoiding the mud.

Edwards has been riding well all year. His 13th-place finish in Lourdes marked one of the best race runs of his career, and he followed it up by going 13th again during qualifying in Fort William. Edwards is beginning to make top 20 runs his standard practice. It may be a sign of even bigger things to come that he felt he could have shaved off more time in Leogang. 

“Today was tough,” Edwards said Saturday. “Conditions changed. I kind of made a bit of a mess of my race run. I wouldn’t say a crazy mess, but I was just off line. I rode the woods really well, relaxed out of the woods, and then I just messed up the bottom. 

“I should have done a better job, but it is what it is, and a top 20 with a not very good day is good for me.”

Loris Vergier in the clouds on track walk.

Kade making shapes.

Vergier was dogged by bad luck in his first two races of the year, crashing due to a small mistake in Lourdes and getting his chain knocked off by a rock in Fort William, but still managed to finish 12th and sixth, respectively.

Leogang was a slightly different story. Leogang has been tough on him the past few years. He punctured early in what appeared to be a fast run in 2021, finished 10th at World Championships in 2020, and took 19th at the World Cup event in 2019. This year, after posting one of the fastest first splits of qualifying, he crashed and took a big time loss. With an early start on Saturday, he altered his game plan for his final run.

Loris suited up in custom kit.


“I just wanted to have a safe run and make it down, and I did,” Vergier said. “I know it’s not where I want to be, but today was one of those days. I just wanted to make it down and grab some points and build confidence because I’m not there yet. We have a break, a couple more races to prepare, and then the rest of the season will be good. I’m looking forward to it.”

It says a lot about a rider when a bad day still produces a top 10 run.

Leogang may have been tough on Edwards and Vergier, but it also gave a glimpse at just how hungry they are. With five more World Cup races AND World Championships still to go in the season, they have plenty more chances to show off their full potential. Just four weeks until Round 4 in Lenzerheide, where their stars may finally align. 

More scenes from Leogang: