Max Brandl conquered the U23-Worldcup-Podium in Lenzerheide (Switzerland) for the first time in his career. Georg Egger came in only 20th.
Not many observers expected the young rider to reach these heights that early in his career. Not even Brandl himself. Reaching the top ten was kind of a goal, but the podium was not really on his mind before the weekend. Two months after he broke his radius and one week after his Worldcup-Debut in Andorra this result could not be expected.
„My plan was to get into the top five as early a possible and to stay in front as long as possible.“ To realize this race plan he had to invest more than he had hoped, Brandl reported after the race. During the race he was able to keep up with the competition in the uphills as well as in the technical downhills. With his injury in mind, Brandl summarized his performance saying „I’m myself again“.
Brandl strikes back in the Downhill
In the first half of the second 4.2 kilometer lap, the 20-year-old Brandl reached the leading group. A bit surprisingly, he took the lead in a singletrail section at the end of this lap. With a small gap due to his back problems, Andorra winner Simon Andreassen (Den) followed Brandl.
Brandls‘ lead was short-lived however. In the following uphill, the followers caught up forming a leading group of five. In the final lap this group reduced to three: Brandl, Worlcup Leader Martins Blums (Latvia) and Albstadt Winner Nadir Colledani (Italy). Blums was able to decide the race and win his first Worldcup because of a mistake by Brandl. Brandl concentrated on the fight for second place, which paid-off. „I really was completely empty and just wanted to make sure that I stay in front of the Italian rider. I’m really happy with this second place,“ Brandl stated in the finish area.
For Team Lexware Mountainbike this was a premiere as well. It is the first time in the history of the team to win two U23-Worldcup-Podiums in one season. Georg Egger, who conquered the podium in Albstadt with a second place didn’t have a good day in Lenzerheide however. He came in 20th (+4:09), stating that „there was no power“. In the Overall ranking, Egger falls back from third to fifth place. Brandl ranks 11th now.
Dorn’s rear derailleur damaged
For the other team riders, the weekend was rather unfruitful. Luca Schwarzbauer came in 71th only (+10:52) and was puzzled by his form. „The training on Saturday felt really good“ he said shakin the head. Torben Drach reached a 73rd place (+11:24) after starting from position 92. His teammate Vinzent Dorn came in only 97th (+1 lap). He probably had done better if didn’t broke a spoke in the second lap forcing him to change his wheel. When he returned to the race some rider rammed into his rear derailleur and Dorn had only the heavy gears left. „Very sad, I was really optimistic during the training camp.“
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