Hawke's Bay mountainbiker Brook Macdonald led a Kiwi charge with a podium placing at the European Cup downhill in Austria on Monday.
The iXS European Cup drew a world class field to the Leogang course which will host the world championships later in the year. Three New Zealanders finished in the top 10 with Macdonald (MS Mondraker) finishing third, Havelock North rider George Brannigan (Devinci Global) seventh with Wanganui's Sam Blenkinsop (Lapierre International) 10th.
Former world champion and world cup winner Greg Minnaar claimed the win, to back up his victory in the opening round of the World Cup on home turf in South Africa in March.
It proved an outstanding performance from Macdonald who whipped down the demanding course in the Leogang Bikepark in 3:25.504, just under four seconds behind the winner.
"Leogang done. I was third behind Greg and Steve and stoked to be back racing," Macdonald said.
"I am looking forward to Val di Sole."
Brannigan, 22, impressed with his run in 3:27.597 while it proved an exceptional effort from Blenkinsop, who is coming back after breaking his leg racing in New Zealand in January.