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Oisin O’Callaghan strong start at 2024 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

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Oisin O’Callaghan 2024 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup performance gets this racing season off to a strong start

Limerick’s Oisin O’Callaghan has a strong showing at the 2024 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Leogang, Austria kickstarting the racing season

The 21-year-old Limerick man is making a name for himself in the world of downhill mountain biking

The 2024 World Cup downhill bike race, held in the picturesque town of Leogang,  Austria, was a thrilling spectacle of speed, skill, and resilience. Known for its challenging terrain, extremely steep woods and unpredictable weather, Leogang once again lived up to its reputation, providing an exhilarating battleground for the world’s top downhill mountain bikers.

The Leogang course is famous for its steep descents, rocky sections, and technical forest trails. This year, the course designers added several new features to test the riders’ limits, including a series of treacherous tree stumps.  Despite heavy rain leading up to the event, which turned the track into a slippery quagmire, the riders were undeterred.

The race attracted a star-studded lineup of riders from across the globe. Among the favourites were reigning World Cup leader Loïc Bruni from France, and rising star Vali Höll from Austria. Each competitor brought their unique style and strategy to the race, making for a dynamic and unpredictable competition.


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The old guard who has seen an urge in a new breed coming through are being pushed to the limits. No more so than our own Limerick man Oisín O’Callaghan who at 21, and many years ahead of where his age would suggest.

Loïc Bruni showcased why he is the reigning champion with a masterful performance but not without a fight from Oisin O Callaghan who won qualifying on Saturday  Despite the treacherous conditions, Bruni displayed incredible control and speed combined with high-tech suspension which gave him that vital edge of few tenths of a second in few areas, navigating the course with precision. His time of 3.05 secs  was unmatched, securing him the top spot on the podium

Close on his heels was Finn Iles from Canada, who finished just 2.394 seconds behind Bruni; his aggressive style saw him take several daring lines that shaved precious seconds off his run.

Limerick's Oisin O'Callaghan has a strong showing at the 2024 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Leogang, Austria kickstarting the racing season
Oisin O’Callaghan finished just 0.1 seconds back to take 4th place in what was an extremely tight race

New Zealand Racer Lachie Stevens Mcnab was in 3rd place 0.8 seconds back, while Irish rider Oisin O’Callaghan just 0.1 seconds back, again delighting the Austrian crowd by securing 4th place, showing exceptional skill at a venue which he seemed to feel at home in, final podium went to French 30-year-old Benoit Coulanges 0.03 back. Some very tight times considering the track is 1300 ft drop in elevation and almost 3km.

The 2024 World Cup downhill bike race was not just a test of speed but also a testament to the riders’ adaptability and courage. The challenging conditions added an extra layer of difficulty, turning the race into a true spectacle for the thousands of fans who braved the rain to witness the event.

Spectators were treated to heart-stopping moments, including several dramatic crashes and near-misses. The wood section claimed several high-profile victims, with Leogang setting such a high standard, the anticipation for the next stop on the World Cup circuit is palpable.

Riders will need to recover quickly and adapt their strategies as they head to the next challenging course in Val Di Sole Italy this weekend.

The 2024 World Cup downhill bike race at  Leogang was a celebration of athleticism, bravery, and the relentless pursuit of excellence. It reaffirmed why downhill mountain biking is one of the most exciting and unpredictable sports in the world. As the season progresses, fans can look forward to more thrilling races, where every descent promises new challenges and unforgettable moments.

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Read more Oisín O’Callaghan stories here

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the ilovelimerick.com concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.