It’s that time of year again – time to see who will be crowned the world’s best mountain biker in the various disciplines. This year the crowds have gathered in Lenzerheide, a town in the mountains of Switzerland. After a wet start to the week, the question is, will it be wet for the main XCO and downhill races over the weekend? Or will the sunny conditions remain?
The course is one of the fastest on the global circuit, which makes for exciting racing. Although fast, it has a natural feel to it, with plenty of tree roots on the course that need to be negotiated.
In 2017 Lenzerheide was part of the World Cup series. We saw a dominant performance from the current world champion, Nino Schurter, in the XCO race as he sought the perfect season and managed to hold off a late surge from the Czech express, Jaroslav Kulhavy.
2018 hasn’t been an easy season for Schurter. He has suffered a few unfortunate mechanicals and been pushed to the limit by some of the emerging young guns in the field. Who is you’re your favourite to pull on the rainbow jersey this weekend and be crowned the elite men’s XCO champion?
In the women’s field, the XCO racing has been red hot this year! The last round of the World Cup series in La Bresse, France, produced one of the best racing spectacles in the history of the sport. It had spectators from around the globe on the edge of their seats. The lead in the women’s race changed hands a number of times, with punctures, flat tyres and mechanicals all playing their role. (It is racing after all.)
Jolanda Neff crossed the line first and collapsed in a heap, a phenomenal display of physical and mental strength to come back from numerous challenges during the race. Neff was crowned the overall World Cup series winner, but can she retain her rainbow jersey and take the top step this weekend?
It’s easy to forget that mountain biking is a diverse discipline with a number of different specialities. From downhill action, to the shorter XCO races and all-out efforts, the World Championship week highlights how diverse the racing is and provides an opportunity for the world to see the development of future stars of the sport. It is truly a jam-packed week and should definitely be on your cycling bucket list as one of the events to attend.
The team from Red Bull has put together a summary of the event and everything that you need to know – from favourites in the races to reviews on the courses, downhill racing sure does require you to fully commit to your line choice and not back out. Check it out here.
If you are in the area, you can get all the details and ticket information here.
Watch the video below for a quick overview of what it takes to be the ultimate fan and show the riders the support that they deserve.
Right, let’s go and watch some racing!
All the best to everyone taking part in the MTB World Championships. We look forward to some exciting racing. A reminder that the marathon MTB world champs take place in Auronzo di Cadore, Italy, next weekend (15 September 2018).