Reece Wilson takes fourth on the course where he won a World Championship
Reece Wilson really likes Leogang.
Wilson finished .42 seconds out of a medal, and 1.898 seconds behind winner Troy Brosnan on Sunday in the opening round of the Downhill World Cup. He was 13th in qualifying, and sat in the silver medal position until the last three riders on the day. And though he just missed out on hardware, Wilson still turned in one of the event’s most impressive rides.
Of particular note, Wilson posted the fastest split through the most technical portion of the course — a steep, wooded section that required pinpoint precision and difficult line decisions. The roots and ruts took out several promising rides, but Wilson used it to his advantage to make up a virtual deficit of roughly 1.3 seconds entering the area.
Wilson clearly enjoyed the day, which was dry and sunny for the men’s runs. When Brosnan, the last rider on the day, crossed the line to win gold, Wilson was the first person to bear hug the winner.
Kade Edwards also had a strong day, finishing 21st after coming in 38th during qualifying. His final result was one of his best elite World Cup performances, and a strong return to form off his 18th place finish in Lousã last October.
The rest of the Trek Factory Racing squad had a difficult weekend. Loris Vergier, competing alongside his TFR teammates for the first time, punctured after a blistering start to his final run. The goods news is that the second downhill World Cup in Les Gets, and hopefully some better luck, is just three weeks away.
Charlie Harrison broke his radius in qualifications Friday. The 23-year-old entered Leogang 3-for-3 in racing on the year. We’re wishing him a speedy recovery.
Vali Höll takes silver in first ever elite World Cup
Vali Höll, still just 19 years old, threw down one of the most impressive runs of the day and came away with a silver medal in her first ever elite World Cup start.
In the process, she conquered the course where she crashed at last year’s World Championship. After a steep, technical wooded section, Höll nailed the canyon jump where she fell.
Leogang is a home course for the Austrian rider. Needless to say, she was amped to stick the landing.
Coming towards the finish line, Höll just needed to stay upright to potentially win a gold medal; she had the fastest time at the final split, 2.221 seconds up on the field. Unfortunately, as happens so often in downhill racing, she appeared to enter a rut awkwardly and fell on the final turn. She got back on her bike quickly, but lost precious time to Camille Balanche, who won by 1.412 seconds.
That slip was the only mishap on an otherwise scintillating day for the young RockShox Trek rider. The experience should leave her anxious to compete again in Les Gets.