Vali Höll smashed it by a massive seven seconds, and Specialized claimed the top two in the men's, with Loic Bruni and Finn Iles


Vali Höll (YT Mob) and Loic Bruni (Specialized Gravity) won the Elite women’s and men’s races at the third round of the DH World Cup 2024 in Leogang, Austria this weekend. Höll repeated last year’s victory, this time by a whopping seven seconds to second-placed Anna Newkirk (Beyond Racing). Myriam Nicole (Commencal/Muc-Off By Riding) completed the top three in the women’s event.

Bruni’s teammate Finn Iles finished second in the men’s event, with Lachlan Stevens-McNab (Union – Forged By Steel City) rounded out the top three. The men’s top five were separated by just over three seconds, and tricky conditions throughout the weekend saw some surprise names crash or set slower than anticipated times. Let’s dive into how the weekend unravelled.

Leogang DH WC

Höll took the win on home soil for the second year in a row

Leogang DH World Cup 2024: How it happened

Elite Women’s

The pressure of a home race didn’t seem to affect Höll (on the outside at least), as she led from qualifying to the semi-finals and then again on the race run on Sunday. Overnight rain meant the technical woods section made for some interesting conditions, and caught out some big names like Jess Blewitt and Tahnée Seagrave, who lost nearly a minute to Höll after crashing on that part of the track. Höll gathered green sector times all the way down, eventually winning by over 7 seconds.

She commented on her winning run: “It’s been insane. I didn’t feel like I was riding like myself in Fort William, then I had a crash in Poland and missed the podium. I knew it was going to be a tough one at home in Leogang. Man, I appreciate it. Thanks to all my coaches, my team, my parents, to everyone. The woods were the crucial section. You can win or lose the race here. I watched the Junior race, saw Erice’s run and thought if she can do it, then I didn’t want to get beaten by her.

“I don’t think anyone expected Leogang to be that technical. Riders complained that Leogang was too easy but man, this track is not easy at all. It is so rough and so hard to hold your line. Happy to steer it home and go back-to-back from last year. I don’t know how long I can keep doing that, it’s a lot of pressure. I love it.”

Newkirk managed her first ever World Cup podium, and Nicole finished in third place after a long fight back from concussion. Höll remains top of the series leaderboard after this weekend, extending her gap to Seagrave to 290 points.

Elite Women’s results:

  1. Vali Höll: 3:40.141
  2. Anna Newkirk: 3:47.243, +7.102
  3. Myriam Nicole: 3:47.980, +7.839
  4. Lisa Baumann: 3:48.087, +7.946
  5. Marine Cabirou: 3:49.848, +9.707
Leogang DH WC

Iles was the man to beat in the finals, bested only by his teammate Bruni as the last man down the hill

Elite Men’s

The Specialized Gravity team had a pretty good weekend, with Bruni taking the lead in the semi-finals and backing that up with a win in the race on Sunday. His teammate Iles didn’t set a timed run until Sunday, but ended up sitting in the hotseat until Bruni made his way down the course. Iles injured his thumb in practice, but as a protected rider didn’t need to set a time to be able to race on Sunday.

Stevens-McNab from New Zealand secured his first World Cup podium, finishing in 3rd, with Oisin O’Callaghan (YT MOB) in 4th and Benoit Coulanges (Dorval AM Commencal) rounding out the top 5. Bruni commented on his finals run:

“That was incredible. I really didn’t think I didn’t have it today with the conditions changing so much compared to yesterday which was more my style. I was trying everything I had, and I was depending on the track drying, so I was happy to go last. I had so many thoughts in my head at the start, I was focusing so much on the first corner before dropping in that I blew it, then I got going after the motorway and the woods were so much better than I expected, so I’m happy.

“The track is a mix of everything, so physical because you’re pushing the whole way and minimizing mistakes was key. I’m happy I did. I’m really proud of Finn, Jordan already did well too. Finn taking the day off was a good decision, props to him for riding so fast without racing yesterday.”

In-form Rónán Dunne only managed P12, meaning he’s lost his 2nd place in the overall series standings. Bruni now leads Luca Shaw by 320 points, with Iles hot on his heels, just 30 points behind.

Elite Men’s results:

  1. Loic Bruni: 3:05.523
  2. Finn Iles: 3:07.917, +2.394
  3. Lachlan Stevens-Mcnab: 3:08.638, +3.115
  4. Oisin O’Callaghan: 3:08.757, +3.234
  5. Benoit Coulanges: 3:08.784, +3.261