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Finn Iles battles through injury and onto podium at Leogang World Cup

Finn Iles battles through injury and onto podium at Leogang World Cup

In a sensational display of skill and self-confidence, Finn Iles managed an injury in practice perfectly to earn a World Cup podium on Sunday in Leogang, Austria. After crashing in practice on Friday, Iles strategically opted to save himself for Sunday’s finals, doing the minimum he needed to get through Saturday’s qualification and semi-finals.

The gamble paid off. While the Canadian had less time on track than his competitors, he also spent less time on track than most on Sunday in his final’s run. Iles somehow finessed the greasy roots and mud in Leogang better than all but one other rider. That rider, his Specialized teammate Loic Bruni, is proving to be nearly unstoppable this season. With one hand bandaged and a chainsaw in his other hand, Iles stepped up the highest on the podium he has yet this year, finishing second in Austria.

Vali Höll floated through Leogang’s tech. Photo:  Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool

Elite Women: Höll rules on home turf

Greasy conditions from overnight rain were proving treacherous in the steep woods, for the elite women and, later, the men. Both Tahnée Seagrave and Marine Cabirou went down on different lines in the same corner while Nina Hoffmann crashed on the opening sections of track.

Myriam Nicole (Commencal Muc-Off) returned to her impressive form, riding clean to take third.  Young U.S. racer Anna Newkirk (Beyond Racing) does an incredible job backing up her second place in qualifying, beating most of the big names on a sweet steel bike to take her first elite podium in second place.

Myriam Nicole was thrilled to be back up to podium pace in Austria. Photo: Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool

But there’s no stopping Vali Höll. The young Austrian’s home track hasn’t always been kind to her, YT’s star pulls out a clean run to win in Leogang. It’s her second win in three starts this year.


For Nicole, it concludes a long road back from injury. The Commencal racer was sidelined all 2023 with a concussion that took a long time to recover from.

“My last podium was in 2022 and I had a nightmare year last year. I’m trying not to be too emotional but everything just comes flooding back,” Nicole said after the finish. “Vali killed it, but she’s going so fast, so I’m OK with that. I’m not at that level,” Nicole said, adding with a wink, “Yet.”

Vali Höll and Anna Newkirk celebrate with shoeys on Sunday. Photo: Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool

Lisa Bzaumann…

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