It’s that time of year again, when the hype, anticipation, rumours and gossip are left behind, and the stars of the World Cup circuit hit the track to battle for glory. Whether it’s the speed and danger of downhill (DH) or the athleticism of cross-country (XC) that floats your boat, this season looks set to be a treat. There are some great venues that should produce epic battles between the racers and round 1 of the XC World Cup kicks off this weekend in Albstadt, Germany. Transition Smuggler GX review Orange Stage 6 RS long-term review The 2019 downhill MTB World Cup Tahnee Seagrave racing at the first stage of the 2019 UCI MTB World Cup in Maribor, Slovenia Jan Kasl / Red Bull Content Pool The downhill season started on 27–28 April in Maribor, Slovenia, and the next stage takes place in Fort William, Scotland on 1–2 June. The circuit then moves onto Austria, Andorra, France, Italy, Switzerland and finally culminates in the USA. April 27–28: Maribor, Slovenia Downhill returned to this legendary track for the first time since 2010. With its root-infested upper woods, infamous rock garden and toboggan-run bottom section, Maribor’s always been a rider favourite. This year saw Loic Bruni take the men’s win, while Tahnee Seagrave won it for the women. June 1–2: Fort William, Scotland The home of UK downhill. Watch for standout performances from Brits such as Reece Wilson and Danny Hart. The battle between Tahnee Seagrave and Rachel Atherton is sure to be unmissable too, as they race for victory on home turf. June 8–9: Leogang, Austria This high-speed track guarantees intense racing, and with four out of eight possible wins here for America’s Aaron Gwin, can he get his new Intense bike to the top of the podium? July 6–7: Vallnord, Andorra The downhill race at Vallnord features the highest number of corners on the circuit, and the steepest average gradient. High levels of skill and commitment are essential for success here. July 13–14: Les Gets, France Amazingly, this famous venue hasn’t hosted a World Cup since 2002, or a World Champs since 2004. August 3–4: Val di Sole, Italy The downhill at Val di Sole is famous for producing exceptional rides — think Sam Hill’s 2008 World Champs heartbreak, and Aaron Gwin’s eight-second destruction of the field back in 2012. August 10–11: Lenzerheide, Switzerland What Lenzerheide’s downhill course lacks in length, it makes up for in steepness and intensity. September 7–8: Snowshoe, USA Snowshoe is a brand-new venue for the World Cup series, but it’s no stranger to hosting races. In 2018 it was the venue for the US National Champs. The downhill track here mixes vicious rocks and flowing turns up top with steep sections to finish. Neko Mulally won the men’s DH race in 2018. The 2019 XC MTB World Cup Nino Schurter riding at the UCI MTB World Cup 2018 in Albstadt, Germany Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool The cross-country season kicks off this weekend (18–19 May) in Albstadt, Germany. The circuit then moves onto the Czech Republic, Andorra, France, Italy, Switzerland and finally the USA. May 18–19: Albstadt, Germany The classic German venue will open the XC World Cup this month. Can cross-country legend Nino Schurter get his third win in a row here? May 25–26: Nové Mesto, Czech Republic With eight years of racing history, this wide, high-speed track pulls in big crowds. It’s famous for its ferocious and technical races — full-sus bikes love Nové Mesto. July 6–7: Vallnord, Andorra Potentially the most physically demanding race of the XC series. Riders compete at high altitude — 1,901m, in fact — where the drama gets as epic as the mountains themselves. July 13–14: Les Gets, France Still heralded by riders as one of the best around for sheer fun factor, Les Gets’ all-natural old-school track is loaded with flat-out grass piste turns, interspersed with steep, loose woods. August 3–4: Val di Sole, Italy Italy always produces hot racing, and Val di Sole boasts the fastest XC course of the year, with average speeds over 20km/h. August 10–11: Lenzerheide, Switzerland The cross-country track at Lenzerheide is no pushover. At 1,500m and littered with roots and rocks, it demands an efficient style and top technical skills. September 7–8: Snowshoe, USA At last year’s US National Champs, Kate Courtney bagged the women’s XC win. Can Courtney, along with Mulally (mentioned above) use their Snowshoe experience to help them up the podium when the World Cup’s in town? The 2019 MTB World Championships Kate Courtney racing in the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships 2018 in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool We then have the World Championships from 31 August–1 September in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada. The most historic and revered mountain bike race venue ever seems an appropriate location for the 2019 World Championships. MSA’s cross-country course blends technical, natural descents with brutally steep climbs, suiting those whose bike-handling skills and physical fitness are equally on-point. The downhill track is similarly unforgiving, punishing riders and bikes on one of the longest, roughest and fastest courses on the circuit. How to watch live coverage of the 2019 World Cup and World Champs Red Bull TV owns the rights to the UCI World Cup and World Championship 2019, and broadcasts the events globally, free of charge. You can download it onto a multitude of devices, including iPhone, iPad, Android TV, phones and tablets, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Playstation 4 and Xbox One, Samsung Smart TVs, and more.
FOX sent over details of their new video series that will be showcased during the 2019 World Cup season. Details inside from FOX. Behind every podium is the multi-faceted story of grit, preparation and support. Beginning April 22nd, FOX will take viewers behind the scenes of the 2019 UCI World Cup race series, providing an insider’s view on what it takes to support a team of world class athletes. The Dialed series will be creating daily content in the week leading up to each race and will be present for all DH events and select XC stops: Date Event Venue Apr 21–28 DH Maribor, Slovenia May 26 – June 2 DH Fort William, Scotland June 3-10 DH Leogang, Austria July 1-8 DH/XC Vallnord, Andorra July 9-15 DH/XC Les Gets, France July 28 – Aug 5 DH/XC Val di Sole, Italy Aug 5-12 DH/XC Lenzerheide, Switzerland Aug 25 – Sept 1 World Champs Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada Sept 1-8 DH/XC Snowshoe, United States When the margins of World Cup victories are often measured within hundredths of seconds, the perfect suspension tune can be the difference between a career-defining result and mid-pack disappointment. Dialed will follow seasoned FOX Factory Race Tech Jordi Cortes from stop to stop as he helps dial in athletes’ suspensions while handling the potential pressure of his work having a direct impact on the make or break of their races. As FOX supports many factory teams and elite athletes, there’s a unique psychological relationship between Jordi, the athletes he works with, and between teammates themselves. Dialed offers a window into these relationships, as well as pulls back the curtain on the tips and techniques used to tune suspension for various riders and terrain. Dialed will be hosted on FOX’s new MTB-specific Instagram channel: @RideFoxBike, with the first episode dropping on April 22nd from Maribor, Slovenia.
The Commencal 'A' squad launches in time for Maribor.( Photos: 8, Comments: 1 )