World Cup racing begins in full swing at one of the greatest venues in the world
Lenzerheide may be the perfect place to host a World Cup mountain bike race. Fans pack the contours of the downhill and cross country courses, which fit snugly against each other. The Swiss Alps are beautiful, the racing is reliably fast and fierce, and the atmosphere is arguably the best in the world.
This weekend — Round 2 of the XC World Cup, and Round 1 of the DH World Cup — may feel like the start of the mountain bike racing season in earnest. The Trek Factory Racing XC and DH squads will race three World Cup races in the next four weekends, diving face first into the highest level of competition in the world after a lot of offseason and preamble.
You should never miss a race, but Lenzerheide is particularly good entertainment. And throughout this week, the typically fast tracks will be receiving a steady dose of rain, adding another layer of unpredictability to this feeling-out stage of the season.
Read on to learn what Trek Factory Racing has in store, and how you can watch all the action.
Three stories to watch
The DH boys take flight
Finally, after 279 days since the final round of the 2022 MTB World Cup in Val di Sole, we’ll get to see Loris Vergier, Kade Edwards and Bodhi Kuhn back in action. (Reece Wilson, unfortunately, will have to wait a little longer as he recovers from an offseason injury.) You should know plenty about Vergier and Edwards at this point. Vergier still has the biggest prizes in the sport within his sights, and Edwards is one of the most absurdly talented riders in the world at 23, and seemingly getting faster with every start.
Kuhn may be a new name to some. But at just 18 years old, he has displayed the maturity, focus and face-melting speed to become a household name. Oh, and he dabbles in rocket science.
The DH course in Lenzerheide is traditionally one of the fastest on the World Cup circuit, but mud could throw a big wrench into the proceedings. Last year’s lines won’t work this time, no sirree. Get ready for an explosive opener.
Hattie Harnden adds another World Cup discipline to her resumé
Hattie Harnden is one of the fastest enduro riders in the world. In 2022, she finished third on the Enduro World Series overall standings while winning back-to-back races in Burke and Whistler. She is also an accomplished XC and cyclocross racer, with two U23 XC World Cup top five finishes and an elite cyclocross World Cup top 20.
This weekend she’ll race at the World Cup level in a fourth discipline, racing the elite downhill event after dedicating her offseason to a gravity-centric training program for the first time in her young career.
Harnden has performed well in smaller downhill races while competing at an elite level on the Enduro World Cup circuit. Racing DH against the best of the best in Lenzerheide will be unlike anything she has faced, but regardless of the result, watching Harnden compete is a must. There’s perhaps no rider in the world more spirited or dedicated to bikes in every sense. Seeing her take on Lenzerheide will be a special moment.
Read the story of Hattie’s 2022 season, and how her relationship with her mechanic has helped push her to new heights.
Knockout, drag-out XC racing
Round 1 of the XC World Cup in Nové Město showed just how competitive the U23 and elite competition will be this year. And after mixed results for riders like Jolanda Neff and Vlad Dascalu, who ride to win every race they enter, expect to see strong performances on a course in Lenzerheide that throws everything it can at riders — from high speeds, to technical descents, to gnarly climbs.
Evie Richards will be one of the riders to watch at the event. She was setting a torrid pace off the front in Nové Město before suffering a poorly timed mechanical. She still managed to claw her way to fourth on the day. She has also won in Lenzerheide before.
The course in Lenzerheide almost seems tailor-built for drama. It certainly won’t rule any riders out by the nature of its design. Get ready to see white knuckle finishes all weekend long.
Schedule and how to watch
This year, World Cup broadcasts move to 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 young guns, you’re in luck. The U23 men’s and women’s XCO races will be broadcast for FREE through the UCI MTB World Series YouTube channel.
Here’s how the weekend will unfold for TFR riders:
Thursday, May 11
- Women’s junior DH qualifying – 2:45 p.m. local, 8:45 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 – 1:15 p.m. local, 7:15 a.m. ET (Watch FREE on YouTube)
- Men’s junior DH finals – 2 p.m. local, 8 a.m. ET (Watch FREE on YouTube)
- Women’s elite XC short track – 5:15 p.m. local, 11:15 p.m. ET (BROADCAST)
- Men’s elite XC short track – 6 p.m. local, 12 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