We have the 2nd round of the 2023 Downhill World Cup and round 3 of the XC World Cup on the cards this weekend in Leogang, Austria.
Last weekend’s racing in Lenzerheide was electrifying! Alan Hatherly repeating a career best 2nd place in the Elite XCO, Nino Schurter of course surpassing Julien Absalon’s 33 World Cup Wins record with his 34th and 18 year old Jordan Williams taking a win in his first ever Elite Downhill World Cup! Incredible stuff to witness.
Now we are in Austria, with the 4th Enduro World Cup round going on throughout Thursday before the XC and DH take centre stage from Friday. Find all the info you need below to watch the action and see the South African rider list for the weekend.
“The Epic Bikepark Leogang, as the heart of the bike region, has established itself since it opened in 2001 as one of the most renowned bike parks in Europe, not least because of its international high-class events. Since 2010 the region has been hosting UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Cups and the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in 2012 and 2020..” – UCI MTB World Series
Who are the South Africans who are racing?
These are the South Africans who will be lining up to race the Cross-Country and Downhill events in Leogang!
Alan Hatherly – Cannondale Factory Racing
Candice Lill – Faces / Seattle Coffee Co.
Tyler Jacobs – Computer Mania MTB Team
Johan van Zyl – Computer Mania MTB Team
Luke Moir – Trek
Unathi Nxumalo – Pump For Peace Racing
Hugo Hahn (NAM)
Greg Minnaar – Santa Cruz Syndicate
Ross Kew – Propian / 23 Degrees
Alex de Bruin
Who was on top in 2022?
As for the downhill in 2022, Camille Balanche and Matt Walker (GB) were the winners on a muddy track. With only a light rain expected on Friday, the conditions should be fast and dusty all weekend!
Jenny Rissveds triumphed over Loana Lecomte by 1 min 13 secs in 2022 while Fluckiger just trumped Schurter by 6 seconds to win the men’s event and Alan Hatherly finished strong in 3rd!
From the looks of things, there won’t be much change to the tracks for 2023 so things should be very familiar on the live broadcasts. The key section is the lower woods after the fast motorway in the middle of the descent. We have never seen this part raced dry in a World Cup so Saturday should bring some exciting lines and speed in the previously boggy forest!
The XCC track is 1.2km long with a fairly punchy 53m of elevation gain.
The XCO kicks off with a start loop at 2.5km with 94m of climbing before 8 laps of the 3.6km course featuring 168m of elevation per lap. The climbs are generally non-technical but the descents have some very steep and technical natural-style sections! Here’s a course preview from 2021.
17:30 – Cross-country Short Track World Cup – U23 Women – live timing
18:15 – Cross-country Short Track World Cup – U23 Men – live timing
12:45 – Downhill World Cup Final – Junior Women – YouTube
13:15 – Downhill World Cup Final – Junior Men – YouTube
14:00 – Downhill World Cup – Qualification – Women – live timing
14:40 – Downhill World Cup – Qualification – Men – live timing
17:30 – Cross-country Short Track World Cup – Women – GCN+ – SS206
18:15 – Cross-country Short Track World Cup – Men – GCN+ – SS206
10:45 – Downhill World Cup – Semi Final – Women – YouTube – SS207 (18th June @ 09:15)
11:20 – Downhill World Cup – Semi Final – Men – YouTube – SS206 (18th June @ 10:15)
13:00 – Downhill World Cup – Final – Women – GCN+ – SS208
14:00 – Downhill World Cup – Final – Men – GCN+ – SS208
08:30 – Cross-country Olympic World Cup – U23 Women – YouTube
10:30 – Cross-country Olympic World Cup – U23 Men – YouTube
13:00 – Cross-country Olympic World Cup – Women – GCN+ – CH951 (OTT 7)
15:30 – Cross-country Olympic World Cup – Women – GCN+ – CH951 (OTT 7)
Video Content From Leogang World Cups
Enduro World Cup Course Preview
Junior Downhill Practice
About the 2023 UCI Mountain Bike World Series
With Discovery Sports, ESO, and Play Sports Network taking over the organizing, promoting, and broadcasting of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cups for 8 years starting from 2023, there are big changes coming about for the riders and fans of “Mountain Bike World Series” as it is now collectively referred to!
Over the course of the season we will get 8 rounds of World Cup Downhill, 7 Enduro World Cups, 9 XCO/XCC World Cup events, and 4 Marathon World Cups across 3 continents, 10 countries, and 15 venues.
Where to watch:
There will be various places to watch the live streams of particular races of the World Cup in 2023, whereas in the past it used to be on Red Bull TV.
2023 will see an addition of U23 XCO racing, Junior Downhill, and Elite Semi-Final Downhill events being live streamed (and will all be free to view on UCI MTB World Series YouTube).
“Live broadcasts of the downhill, cross-country Olympic and cross-country short-track elite finals and coverage of all major races from each of the 13 race weekends will be available globally on GCN+*. “
“GCN+ can be accessed worldwide through a monthly or annual subscription. Racing coverage and content is available live and on demand via the GCN App, all web browsers, Amazon FireTV, Samsung Smart TV, AndroidTV, Chromecast, Apple AirPlay and Apple TV. “
DSTV is also an option for us as South Africans. See the schedule for channels and times.
Races can also be watched Live and On Demand through Discovery+ though it is the most expensive option.
Most affordable way to watch?
An annual subscription to GCN + (done via the cellphone app but then can be used on web or TV App) is R719,99. To subscribe monthly would be R124,99 per month. With 4 months of Downhill and XC racing left (from June to October), you can save a bit by subscribing monthly (R500 for 4 months) to watch the live broadcasts of the Elite Downhill and XC Finals.
There are plenty of other live races from the road cycling world as well as feature films that can be viewed on GCN+ so you may see value in going for the annual sub to have access to that content beyond the 5 months of racing.