How to watch Trek Factory Racing at one of the most challenging races of the year
The first 2021 XC World Cup race in Albstadt didn’t disappoint. The weekend was packed with thrilling races and surprising performances, setting up a season of tight battles and endless storylines.
For Trek Factory Racing, the weekend was defined by rollercoaster emotions.
On the high end: Anton Cooper finished sixth in a nailbiting men’s elite XCO race, just seven seconds off the podium, for his best start ever to a World Cup, and Hattie Harnden took eighth in the women’s U23 race on a course where the enduro rider thought she might struggle. On low end: Jolanda Neff and Evie Richards fell short of lofty standards with 13th- and 25th-place finishes in the women’s elite XCO race, respectively, and Stephane Tempier was forced to pull out of the men’s event.
None of the riders have had much time to dwell on their results, however. As soon as racing ended in Albstadt, they hit the road for the Czech Republic, where they’ll race the second World Cup round in Nové Město beginning with the men’s and women’s short track races on Friday.
Nové Město’s course has a much different personality than Albstadt’s, which ran fast with two long climbs. Conversely, Nové Město is much bumpier, slower, and more technical. It still features a fair amount of climbing — 117 meters per lap — but the ascents are frequent and compact as opposed to Albstadt’s major setpieces, and the tricky descents should buy riders some time before the gradients kick up (though, they’ll hardly be a breather).
The weather calls for cool temperatures and passing showers Friday, Saturday and Sunday, which could slow down the track without turning it into a muddy mess. If Albstadt rewarded climbers, Nové Město will suit the grinders. Every ballyhooed trait of XC racing will be needed to win — endurance, bike handling and pure toughness. Any rider not on their ‘A’ game may find themselves deep in the pack.
As fascinating as the first World Cup race was, the top of Nové Město’s standings could look very different from the week before. For some, this weekend will be a chance to alter the their early narrative as the XC season hits full stride.
How to watch
Red Bull TV will once again air the elite men’s and women’s short track and XCO races for free to anyone with an internet connection — no subscription required. Unfortunately, there is no broadcast for the junior and U23 races scheduled for Saturday.
Here is the complete racing schedule for the weekend:
- Women’s elite XC short track — 6 p.m. local, noon ET
- Men’s elite XC short track — est. 6:45 p.m. local, 12:45 p.m. ET
- Men’s junior XCO — 9:30 a.m. local, 3:30 a.m. ET
- Women’s junior XCO — est. 11:15 a.m. local, 5:15 a.m. ET
- Men’s U23 XCO — 3 p.m. local, 9 a.m. ET
- Women’s U23 XCO — est. 5 p.m. local, 11 a.m. ET
- Women’s elite XCO — 11:20 a.m. local, 5:20 a.m. ET
- Men’s elite XCO — 3:20 p.m. local, 9:20 a.m. ET