be_ixf;ym_202210 d_05; ct_100
Images from the 2021 UCI World Cup Downhill Round 1

Monster Energy Mountain Bike Athletes Take Top Three Places at UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Downhill Race

Jun 142021

What a way to open the 2021 season! Monster Energy congratulates its mountain bike athletes on a dominant performance at the Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Leogang, Austria, this weekend. In the official season opener at one of the most challenging downhill courses on the circuit, 27-year-old Troy Brosnan from Adelaide, Australia, took first place in the Elite Men’s Racing event with a 3:26.019 minute total time.

Brosnan was joined on the podium by 19-Year-Old Monster Energy rider Thibaut Daprela from France in second place with a 3:27.254-minute finish. In third place, 25-year-old Amaury Pierron from Brioud, France, returned to full form in Leogang with a 3:27.497 minute total time after spending most of last year injured.

The world elite of MTB racing returned to Epic Bikepark Leogang this weekend. Spirits were high after the 2020 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup downhill racing season had been limited due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now a limited number of spectators were allowed back on site and the Leogang course challenged riders on the 2.5km ‘Speedster’ track that allows top speeds above 40 mph. 

This weekend marked the tenth World Cup event in Leogang, and many competitors can look back at a storied history with the steep course boasting a new technical section and challenging root passages. Monster Energy’s Brosnan has definitely paid his dues in Leogang: In 2012, he was seriously injured when he ruptured his spleen and had to spend weeks in the hospital. During the 2020 season, he was just shy of a World Championship title when the weather and mud took its toll.


Speaking of mud, the qualifier rounds in the Austrian mountainside were overshadowed by slippery course conditions. But on Saturday morning, riders were greeted by sunshine, as much of the course was running fast and dusty by the time the Elite Men division dropped. Meanwhile, the new lower section introduced for Worlds in 2020 was still greasy in sections, and racers had to pick their lines wisely as it turned to thick clumpy mud later in the day. This made both tire and line choice crucial when racing finally got underway.


When all was said and done, Brosnan made all the right choices: With splits that had him in the lead and then off the back, Brosnan somehow managed to find major time in the lower woods to cross the line in first place with a 3:26.019-minute total time. Finishing 1.235 seconds ahead of the next competitor, the Australian took home his third World Cup win.


“I got it done, I’m pretty happy,” said Brosnan upon winning the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Leogang, Austria. “I didn’t even think of [the spleen] before now. I almost died here! Apart from that year in 2012 when I ruptured my spleen and crashed, Leogang has really treated me well, and it’s got Schnitzel so you can’t go wrong."

Speaking on course conditions and race strategy, Brosnan said: “It was tough at the top today, yesterday it was super tough at the bottom in the mud but today it was the top in the dust. It was so fast! Along the motorway the wind was a tailwind, and it was blowing so you were cranking so hard.”


Asked about the moment when he saw the chance to win, Brosnan said: “Once I got into the woods, I was like, ‘Let’s send it!’ I made a couple of mistakes, but I think everyone else would’ve too. I just got down and got it done and got the win. I can’t be happier!”


Brosnan was followed by a rookie, 19-Year-Old Daprela from France in second place. The 2018 and 2019 Junior World Cup Champion has been on a roll in what is only his second season racing Elite World Cups. In Leogang, Daprela came down with only two riders to go, and thrust his fists in the air as he crossed the line into first place. The Frenchman had a tense six minutes as Danny Hart (GBR) came down and slid into sixth place with only Brosnan left at the top. Daprela ultimately took home silver and his first ever World Cup podium with a 3:27.254-minute final time.


“It’s so good to be back racing, it’s been two months now. The week has been so crazy with the weather. I did a really good run today, so I was confident. It’s so good to be second, it’s my best result ever,” said Daprela, adding: “It gives me confidence, as I did mistakes and can be better next time. Learning from each mistake I can be better for next time. I prefer to be second and make mistakes than first and just think I’m fast.”


Finishing in third place in Leogang, Monster Energy’s Pierron spent most of the abbreviated last season on the bench after injuring himself last August at a French National round. His comeback was short and fast, riding his number 93 plate into third place and sending notice to the rest of the field that he is back in top racing form.


“I was struggling yesterday during qualifying and found my best riding today. It’s so good to be back racing.  My last World Cup was the end of 2019, so it’s nearly been two years. It's been a long way, a really long recovery. Everything is getting good now, so finishing the first race on the podium is great,” said Pierron. “I need to thank my trainer and team for all of the recovery work, it’s been a team effort. It’s good to be back for sure. It helped my confidence. I want to win, that’s it. I don’t care what race it is, I just want to send it.”


Next, the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup will return on July 2 at legendary Les Gets, France, for round two of the 2021 season. The rest of the year has some classic European venues in store, before the tour moves to Snowshoe, United States, for the World Cup finals, as in 2019. It’s definitely good to be back!