Aaron Gwin’s Day Off
Who better to test the suitability and shred vibes of the Epic Bikepark Leogang than Aaron Gwin? In 2011, 2015, 2016 and 2017, the Downhill star took the win in Leogang and finished second in 2018. But the US-American also suffered some setbacks on the “Speedster” track. In 2012, his brakes malfunctioned, in 2014 a flat in the upper section led to a spectacular run on just his rim. In 2015, he snapped his chain coming out of the gate, but he didn’t let that stop him – taking the win even without his chain – a feat that is both legendary and remarkable. Following this year’s World Cup, the Leogang lover spent a few cozy days in his ‘living room’ in Epic Bikepark Leogang and spent some days shredding the different trails.
Q & A with Gwin
Aaron, how was the shoot?
Aaron Gwin: “The shoot was fun. It was really enjoyable for me because we got to ride a lot of different trails. But it was also hard work, especially when you’re riding downhill. You’re hiking back up after every shot. But it’s a lot of fun when you collaborate with guys that are good at what they do. When they have an eye for riding and they know the angles, it makes it pretty easy and you get the shots in a couple of takes. It was like that today, so I had a lot of fun. The backdrop in Leogang is amazing so I don’t think you can really take a bad photo here (laughs).”
How much did you like the tracks?
Aaron Gwin: “The tracks are awesome! We rode a couple of trails here that I’ve never ridden and they were a lot of fun all the way from the top. It’s cool to have a bike park like this with a huge variety of terrain. There a challenging wood sections and rock gardens as well as high-speed wallrides to get loose and convenient flow trails, too. This variety is what a good bike park is all about.”
What makes the region Saalfelden Leogang special for you? What do you like?
Aaron Gwin: “Leogang for me has always been a special place. To start with, the scenery here – Leogang is just a beautiful place. It’s somewhere I just love to come and to race and to ride. We always stay at the same hotel which offers great food and everyone treats us really well. It’s just a really good atmosphere. The fans are awesome. I’ve raced here for nine years and had some of the best races of my career here on this track, so the fans and I have a special connection, too. It feels like a home race each time I come here.”
Describe the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Leogang in three words!
Aaron Gwin: “My favourite race!”
How much are you looking forward to the World Championships in Leogang 2020?
Aaron Gwin: “I’m really excited that the World Champs will be in Leogang. It would be amazing to win. Last time the World Championships were here in 2012 a mechanical took me out of the running. To become World Champion in Leogang is my big goal and it would certainly cap off a lot of great races here.”
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