June 11 2022
Matt Walker produced a stunning ride in Leogang to win his first elite men’s downhill World Cup round, snatching victory by 0.3-seconds.
Re-live Matt's run on RedBull TV
Walker sealed his maiden victory with a race run on the limit, sliding his way with precision down the Austrian mountainside as he negotiated the slick wooded key-section with the fastest split time.
When the clock stopped at 3:28.816, Walker would take to the hotseat for an agonising wait with two rivals still to complete their race runs.
But Walker’s time stood strong and he could celebrate his first ever elite downhill World Cup win with his team, in front of a packed finish arena.
After the race, Walker described his feelings:
“Honestly I can’t put it into words, it’s unbelievable. I’m just trying to absorb moment as much as possible.
“Honestly, I didn’t really expect it this week. It’s not a track I’ve done particularly well at in the past.
“I felt really good in practice this morning, I set off out the gate, I was confident in my lines, I made some bold choices with tyre choice and it paid off.
“I felt really good as soon as I set off out the gate and I got into a groove pretty nicely.
“I can’t thank everyone enough for the support over the years, it’s felt like a long time coming and I’m just so, so stoked to finally tick it off, it feels amazing. We work so hard and it’s amazing to achieve a goal like this.”
Walkers first victory came after a string of career podium-places on his way to winning the overall series in 2020, but today the 23-year-old stood peerless on the top step of the podium.
His result elevates him to second in the 2022 overall standings, after three of eight rounds.
It was an afternoon of double celebration for the Madison Saracen Factory Racing Team as Jordan Williams took the junior win and with it the lead of the overall series.
It was Williams’ second straight victory, having won round two in Fort William.
In Leogang his time of 3:39.314 was unrivalled as he set the fastest splits from top to bottom, earning him a winning margin of over four seconds.
The result places Williams at the top of the points table and one step closer to the junior title, which will be decided in September.
In the elite women’s race, Veronika Widmann placed 14th with a time of 4:57.722.
The 2022 UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup continues in Lenzerheide, Switzerland on July 9-10.