UCI Mountain Bike World Champs 2021 – Val Di Sole Italy

It is World Champs week and the renowned slopes of Val Di Sole in Italy are the location where the best mountain bikers from around the world will challenge each other for the coveted rainbow stripes, including short track for the first time in history where Alan Hatherly has qualified with the fastest time in the heats! Here is all you need to know about where to watch, who to watch and when to watch!

Alan Hatherly World Champs Uci Mountain Bike
Alan Hatherly is off to powerful start at the 2021 World Champs, taking the fastest time in the Short Track heats. Photo: Michele Mondini

WHERE AND WHEN TO WATCH

UCI MTB World Cup event are typically streamed by Red Bull TV but SuperSport has the license for World Champs and so that is where the live action will be broadcast. Alternatively, you can follow the live timing here.

Thursday 26th:
17:00 // SS 207 – Women’s Short Track Finals
17:40 // SS 207 – Men’s Short Track Finals

Friday 27th:
15:00 – Women’s eBike Cross Country
16:45 – Men’s eBike Cross Country
20:45 – Women and Men 4X Finals

Saturday 28th:
12:45 // SS OTT4 – Women’s XCO Finals
15:30 // SS OTT4 – Men’s XCO Finals
(OTT4 seems to be on online only channel, possibly 248)

Sunday 29th:
13:05 // SS 214 – Women’s DH Finals
14:50 // SS 214 – Men’s DH Finals

WHO TO WATCH

We have the following South African riders competing (info from CSA website):

Junior Women 

  • Andrea Schofmann – XCO (debut) – Ranked 8th in the UCI XCO Junior Women’s World Rankings
  • Madison Mann – XCO (debut)


Junior Men

  • Kai Von During – XCO (debut) – Ranked 6th in the UCI XCO Junior Men’s World Rankings
  • Gunther Katzke – XCO (debut) 
  • Luca Ruwiel – XCO (debut) 
  • Matthew Scott – XCO (debut) 
  • Martin Vermeulen – DHI (debut) 


Under 23 Women

  • Danielle Strydom – XCO


Under 23 Men

  • Keagan Bontekoning – XCO
  • Unathi Nxumalo – XCO (debut)
  • Daniel Van Der Walt – XCO
  • Johan Van Zyl – XCO


Elite Women

  • Candice Lill – XCO
  • Mariske Strauss – XCO
  • Frances Du Toit – DHI
  • Sabine Thies – DHI

Elite Men

  • Alan Hatherly – XCO – Ranked 9th in the UCI Elite Men’s XCO World Rankings
  • Matthew Beers – XCO
  • Arno du Toit – XCO
  • Matthew Lombardi – eXCO
  • Greg Minnaar – DHI – Ranked 5th in the UCI Elite Men’s DHI World Rankings
  • Theo Erlangsen – DHI
  • Cullen McMaster – DHI
  • Johann Potgieter – DHI

THE LOCATION AND THE RACES

The last XCO to take place in Val Di Sole was in 2019. Here is a look at the course from that event! Expect a couple changes for 2021 World Champs.

Val Di Sole XCO Course Preview 2019

Alan Hatherly has gone from strength to strength in 2021 and just posted the fastest time in the short track. A lot of the XCO favourites have decided to sit out the short track event but Alan is racing in both. In our podcast with Alan he came across positive and confident in his ability to reach the top and there is not better occasion to deliver than World Champs!

The Downhill Track in Val Di Sole is notorious! Relentlessly technical and steep. The downhill qualifications are taking place on Friday morning so we will know after that who is making sense of the track this year. Here is a look at what the Val Di Sole downhill is all about.

Val Di Sole Downhill Course Preview 2021

Greg Minnaar is having a strong season, claiming 4th place at the last World Cup Round in Maribor. He has the mental game to keep it together in the high pressure World Champs environment but hasn’t seen a podium since getting a silver medal in 2015. Can he pull one out the bag on Sunday afternoon? Our bet is yes!

Stay tuned to the @wildairsports instagram channel for updates throughout the week!

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