We answered your most pressing questions ahead of the first ever *World Cup triple*
It’s World Cup weekend! And this is a big one. The broadcast rights to the MTB World Cup changed hands during the offseason, and as a result the circuit underwent a facelift. One of the biggest changes was the addition of enduro to the slate alongside cross country and downhill, making this weekend’s race in Leogang the first ever World Cup triple. We’re getting goosebumps already.
There’s going to be a lot going on over the next four days. The action starts Thursday for Trek Factory Racing with riders taking part in enduro, junior DH qualifications and U23 XC short track racing. They will be in constant action from there. You might have a lot of questions about how this all works. We’re here to help.
Below are a few questions you may be asking yourself that we’ve anticipated for you. You’re very welcome.
What is an MTB World Cup?
Let’s start with the basics. An MTB World Cup is a gathering of the fastest mountain bike riders in the world. Each rider typically specializes in one particular discipline. The three major disciplines are cross country (XC), in which riders races head-to-head over a set number of laps, downhill (DH), in which riders compete in a time trial down a very steep and treacherous course, and enduro, which is like downhill racing over multiple stages that are spread across an entire day.
Who competes in this?
The very best of the best. But because this is the Trek Racing website, we’re partial to the riders who are racing atop our bikes. Trek Factory Racing (a.k.a., TFR) will have 11 riders competing: seven riders in XC (Evie Richards, Jolanda Neff, Gwendalyn Gibson, Vlad Dascalu, Anton Cooper, Maddie Munro and Riley Amos); three riders in DH (Loris Vergier, Kade Edwards and Bodhi Kuhn); and one rider in enduro (Hattie Harnden).
That's a lot of riders! How have they done so far?
In XC, TFR’s trio of elite women riders are currently sitting atop the team standings after a strong showing in Lenzerheide. Richards is leading the way after placing sixth in Lenzerheide and fourth in Nové Mesto that could have been more if not for an unfortunate mechanical problem.
The DH boys just had their first World Cup race of the season, and so far so good. Vergier took second, setting the bar high for a rider who was already aiming for the moon. Bodhi Kuhn, a new addition to the team, took second in the junior category and made himself known as a rider to watch. Kade Edwards crashed during his finals run, but he seemingly gets faster every race.
Harnden is in the full swing of her enduro season. She’ll be racing the fourth of seven races in the series, and everything is up for grabs. Harnden, who took third overall last year, is aiming to bounce back from a disappointing (by her standards) ninth place in Pietra Ligure. She’s currently fourth overall in the women’s standings.
Wow, these people seem amazing. Can you link to anything to help me learn even more?
You bet! We have tons of in-depth preview content. Take your pick:
Wow these events seem hard. What are the tracks like?
“Hard” is a good word!
The XC course is physically and mentally demanding. It features two long, steep climbs, and several harrowing, technical descents as it weaves in and out of forested sections. Riders will constantly be on their toes as they try to figure out how to pass on a narrow, winding track.
The last several years, the DH course’s defining feature has been mud, but with dry conditions expected this week it could be rippingly fast. Most of the course is on open-air singletrack, with a few gnarly roots and stumps thrown in. Near the bottom, riders change pace and tackle an ultra-technical, thickly-wooded section. The track is set up as an entrée followed by dessert.
The enduro course is all new, so it’s difficult to say what to expect. We know there will be six stages that amount to 71 kilometers of riding when factoring in transfers between starts. The longest stage is Stage 3, which is three kilometers long and features a whopping 708 meters of descending.
I am now an MTB expert, thank you for your steady, reassuring hand in guiding me along this journey of enlightenment. So how can I actually watch the races?
This year, World Cup broadcasts are now on GCN+, Eurosport and discovery+. You can stream all men’s and women’s elite racing with subscriptions to any of those services. For those who also want to see the youngins’ race, you’re in luck. The U23 men’s and women’s XCO races, as well as the junior DH finals and elite DH semi-finals, will be broadcast for FREE through the UCI MTB World Series YouTube channel.
Here’s how the schedule will unfold for TFR riders:
Thursday, May 11
- Enduro World Cup start – 11 a.m. local, 5 a.m. ET (Post-race highlights on YouTube)
- Women’s junior DH qualifying – 3:45 p.m. local, 9:45 a.m. ET
- Men’s junior DH qualifying – 4p.m. local, 10 a.m. ET
- Women’s U23 XC short track – 5:30 p.m. local, 11:30 a.m. ET
- Men’s U23 XC short track – 6:15 p.m. local, 12:15 p.m. ET
Friday, May 12
- Women’s junior DH finals – 12:45 p.m. local, 6:45 a.m. ET (Watch FREE on YouTube)
- Men’s junior DH finals – 1:15 p.m. local, 7:15 a.m. ET (Watch FREE on YouTube)
- Women’s elite DH qualifying – 2 p.m. local, 8 a.m. ET
- Men’s elite DH qualifying – 2:40 p.m. local, 8:40 p.m. ET
- Women’s elite XC short track – 5:30 p.m. local, 11:30 p.m. ET (BROADCAST)
- Men’s elite XC short track – 6:15 p.m. local, 12:15 p.m. ET (BROADCAST)
Saturday, May 13
- Women’s elite DH semi-finals – 10:45 a.m. local, 4:45 a.m. ET (Watch FREE on YouTube)
- Men’s elite DH semi-finals – 11:20 a.m. local, 5:20 a.m. ET (Watch FREE on YouTube)
- Women’s elite DH finals – 1 p.m. local, 7 a.m. ET (BROADCAST)
- Men’s elite DH finals – 2 p.m. local, 8 a.m. ET (BROADCAST)
Sunday, May 14
OK what else?
Haven’t I done enough for you?
Wait, don’t go, there’s one more thing. Click the link below and check out Trek’s incredible range of mountain bikes. There’s no better way to fully appreciate what these athletes can do than hitting the trails yourself. Bonus: it’s really, really fun.