Favourable weather throughout the week remained for finals day at Round 3 of the Mercedes-Benz UCI DH World Cup in Leogang, Austria, with a scattering of clouds offering little respite from the relentless sunshine. With slippery dust from start to finish, a winning run would need precision riding, while really pushing the envelope on one of the fastest courses of the season.
The Elite Men’s race with big names, like Laurie Greenland, Bernard Kerr and Loris Vergier finding themselves on the wrong side of the grip limits. Loïc Bruni, the reigning world champion hit the track with energy and accuracy, sliding just the right amount and bouncing between turns. The French rider hurtled down the hill in 3m 16.132s.
Troy Brosnan, was 0.7s slower than Bruni, but despite not beating him, the Australian will hang on to the series leader’s jersey when the World Cup moves on to Vallnord, Andorra for the next round in early July.
Fastest qualifier Greg Minnaar, 21 times a World Cup winner, was the only man left to try and better Bruni’s time. From start to finish the result could have gone either way, with Minnnaar just a fraction of a second slower at each split and gaining speed as he progressed through his run.
Bruni was literally on the edge of his seat in the finish arena – Minnaar had been strong at the end of the track in qualifying. He crossed the finish line in second place, 0.3s behind Bruni, who threw his arms aloft in celebration of his second win of the season.
Men’s Downhill World Cup overall ranking