World Cup Lenzerheide: great start of a 2023 season

A good start of the UCI MTB World Series season, especially thanks to Ben who missed the finals by 0.3 seconds and was showing great speed with each of the runs. Léona didn’t had such a great weekend here in Lenzerheide, but still learned a lot and is looking forward to the next races.

The beautiful venue we all know, but the new format of racing and lots of surprising results. We all waited so long for the World Cup season to start and now we also have a strong confirmation of good work done over the winter.

We came to Switzerland with Ben Zwar and Léona Pierrini, Jure Žabjek got injured on the last training camp and will skip first rounds. Ben was of course our hero of the week, with more than solid qualifications and very good performance in the semifinals, finally just missing that top-30 result that would take him all the way to the finals. Ben was on speed from day one, despite changing condition on the track. He was 32nd in the semifinals, missing the finals by two places (or 0.3 second), but the splits tell a different story. He was 22nd and 24th on splits 1 and 2, confirming that he has what it takes to go all the way to the end. He already proved that one day earlier, riding his Trek Session to a 28th place in the qualifications. And that was a conservative run as he wasn’t sure how the conditions are on the track.

“Finished with the round one here in Lenzerheide. Pretty good day for me, ended up 32nd in the semifinals. Wasn’t really the run I was looking for, as I made a few mistakes towards the bottom, but I was really happy with the speed I had at the top. I’m still really stoked to get 32nd with a messy run, it gives me lots of confidence moving on to the next weekend.” – Ben Zwar

Léona came to the opening round after dealing with a lot on non-race related stress and was firstly looking for a clear mind and have fun on her bike. She did lots of good runs in the practice and found good lines on what is the complete opposite of her favorite track, but the rain before the qualies sealed the deal for her. Her run was just not good, but on the flip side she knows why and where she lost time and we’re sure it will only go up from here on. She has the speed, she has the motivation and the good results will follow.

All in all it was a good opening round for Unior-Sinter Factory Racing. The bike is fast, riders did the hard work, staff is committed, and the sponsors are giving us their full support. Perfect combination for going into the next round – see you in Leogang in just couple of days!

And the new format with the changed schedule and semifinals? It’s good for the spectators, builds the excitement and brings new challenges to the race weekend. Thumbs up for now!

Race results
Ben on Instagram
Léona on Instagram

Photos: Phunkt & Grega Stopar