The rain has come down in Leogang and the World Cup tracks are suddenly looking quite a mess! This is Mountain Biking, and part of that is dealing with the conditions. With the 3rd round of the Cross Country World Cup happening on Friday evening and Sunday afternoon, and the Downhill World Cup finals taking place on Saturday afternoon (all broadcast links below), things are looking set for a tough weekend of racing in difficult conditions.
Last year’s MTB World Champs took place in Leogang in similar conditions and so many of the riders will have an idea of what they are in for. The Downhill track was notoriously difficult too navigate last year and it looks to be equally so, if not harder, this year. Have a look at Pinkbike’s practice day video to get an idea of just how tough the conditions are (spoiler alert: lots of crashes).
The conditions are looking a similar story on the XCO track! The downhills are steep and so are the climbs. Riders are gong to have to work hard to find traction on the ascents and of course keep it tidy on the descents. A crash in the XCO can take its toll physically as well as mechanically on the bike.
Dialling in tire pressures and suspension will be very important, as Alan Hatherly mentioned in our pre-season catchup with him. Lower pressures will help to keep traction on the track but too low can risk puncturing and inefficient peddling platforms. For a taste of what is to come, check out the Men’s Elite World Champs highlights from 2020 in Leogang below. Friday evening the action starts at 17:20 for the Short Track race (broadcast link below).
Below is the Live Broadcast schedule and links for the upcoming events on RedBull TV.
Confirmed riders lining up to represent the SA flag
Get ready for some edge-of-your-seat racing!