Course Preview: 2 For 1 Special - Nove Mesto World Cup XC 2020

Sep 28, 2020
by Andy Vathis  



Racing is indeed back for 2020 under the UCI after an entire year of schedule changes and waiting for the green light. We find ourselves at easily the best track on the cross-country circuit for not just one but two rounds this week to kick off the season here in Nove Mesto. The crew has made improvements on course and the tape is expected to change in certain spots from one round to the other to keep things interesting. Although there are no spectators allowed in the venue following the new restrictions, the racing should still be electrifying. It's later on in the season here than we're used to so the weather might be a factor with spotty showers and colder mornings.

The empty grand stands are a stark reminder of what s going on just outside the venue.
The empty grand stands are a stark reminder of what's going on just outside the venue.

Nove Mesto is known to draw huge crowds that fill the stands and the entire lenght of the tape. This year however there s not even a coffee stand set up for staff. Weird times.
Nove Mesto is known to draw huge crowds that fill the stands and the entire length of the tape. This year however, there's not even a coffee stand set up for staff. Weird times.

The roots are out to claim pedals and chainrings if you re not careful.
The roots are out to claim pedals and chainrings if you're not careful.

The pumptrack is once again part of the lower section of the course with a slightly different configuration.
The pumptrack is once again part of the lower section of the course with a slightly different configuration.

They seem to have taped parts of the course wider this year opening up new passing zones and fresh lines to go with.
They seem to have taped parts of the course wider this year opening up new passing zones and fresh lines to go with.

The long rooty climb to the upper part of the course will be a lot quieter this year without spectators.
The long rooty climb to the upper part of the course will be a lot quieter this year without spectators.

Emily Batty cruising around the track this morning.
Emily Batty cruising around the track this morning.

The woods of Nove Mesto are a rather quaint setting for a bike race.
The woods of Nove Mesto are a rather quaint setting for a bike race.

Anton Cooper finding his flow in the new section which will be used to keep things fresh between the 2 races.
Anton Cooper finding his flow in the new section which will be used to keep things fresh between the 2 races.

Freshly painted lid for Kate Courtney.
Freshly painted lid for Kate Courtney to kick off the first day on course this season.

Kate Courtney s mechanic Brad Copeland putting on the final touches on her custom painted ride.
Kate Courtney's mechanic, Brad Copeland, putting on the final touches on her custom-painted ride.

Heavy rain overnight and through the day left the track more than a little muddy. Jolanda Neff thrives in such conditions though.
Heavy rain overnight and through the day left the track more than a little muddy. Jolanda Neff thrives in such conditions though.

Alan Hatherly skating across the slippery roots.
Alan Hatherly skating across the slippery roots.

The bottom part of the course including the arena section remains largely unchanged and won t be altered between the two rounds.
The bottom part of the course including the arena section remains largely unchanged and won't be altered between the two rounds.

Stephane Tempier enjoying his ride today.
Stephane Tempier enjoying his ride today.

They ve paved the upper connector between the feezone and the Cannondale BMX.
They've paved the upper connector between the feed zone and the Cannondale BMX.

The classic Cannondale BMX decent at the back end of the course remains unchainged.
The classic Cannondale BMX decent at the back end of the course remains unchainged.

The new Shimano Expert CLimb 2 for Thursday s race adds an extra loop after the Cannondale BMX section.
The new Shimano Expert Climb 2 for Thursday's race adds an extra loop after the Cannondale BMX section.

Nino Schurter will surely be the man to beat once again.
Nino Schurter will surely be the man to beat once again.

Things shouldn t be quite this wet by the time wheels get on track tomorrow.
Things shouldn't be quite this wet by the time wheels get on track tomorrow.

Thick Nove Mesto pine.
Thick Nove Mesto pine.

Gnarled roots poke out just far enough to be a potential hazard on the flat bits.
Gnarled roots poke out just far enough to be a potential hazard on the flat bits.

Fog and rain rolled in and out all day.
Fog and rain rolled in and out all day.


Left is the Flow Trail up on the right is the classic AC DC entrance.
Left is the Flow Trail, up on the right is the classic AC/DC entrance.

The GoPro Hypersmooth flow trail is a new addition this year and racers will be on it on Thursday. It bypasses the AC DC section reserved for round two and joins the track at the Mercedez-Benz Rock N Roll.
The GoPro Hypersmooth flow trail is a new addition this year and racers will be on it on Thursday. It bypasses the AC/DC section reserved for round two and joins the track at the Mercedez-Benz Rock'N'Roll.


More roots poking through the ground on the AC DC section.
More roots poking through the ground on the AC/DC section.

There is grip in the rocks - you just have to find it.

The Shimano Make Your Mark section has some bite to it and going wide rider s left is a little slick.
The Shimano Make Your Mark section has some bite to it and going wide rider's left is a little slick.

More rooty and mulchy climbing at the top.
Rooty and mulchy climbing at the top.

Pauline Ferrand-Pr vot will be one of the favourites this week.
Pauline Ferrand-Prévot will be one of the favourites this week.

Jolanda Neff gets to grips with the tricky conditions this morning.
Jolanda Neff gets to grips with the tricky conditions this morning.

They ve taped the Mercedez-Benze drop B-line a lot wider this year if you decide to take the scenic route.
They've taped the Mercedes-Benz drop B-line a lot wider this year if you decide to take the scenic route.

Ghost s pimped out rig is sure to break necks.
Ghost's pimped out rig is sure to break necks.

Let s hope these dry up in time for XCC tomorrow.
Let's hope these dry up in time for XCC tomorrow.

Very weird times to hold a bike race in what is usually a very packed arena.
Very weird times to hold a bike race in what is usually a very packed arena.

The crowd is what makes Nove Mesto but the stands will remain empty this week.
The crowd is what makes Nove Mesto but the stands will remain empty this week.

The day ended as it started but the weather looks to be improving over the next few days.
The day ended as it started but the weather looks to be improving over the next few days.



35 Comments

  • 43 0
 If you scroll down really fast it's almost like a real course preview
  • 16 1
 Really great photos—nice work on the article! Makes me extra pumped for the days to come.
  • 7 0
 New XR1 or XR0 tires on the Trek athlete's rigs.
  • 1 0
 New tread and new casing. Those look wide.
  • 7 0
 Great to see MTB is now a winter sport in the EU.
  • 11 6
 "Cannondale BMX" downhill on XC course... 2020 truly brings many weird things.
  • 11 0
 That descent is there since the first or second world cup in NVNM and has been called 'sponsor BMX' ever since...
  • 2 0
 It's supposed to rain again Saturday. High Temps for the next 3 days about 60*/16*. At least it jumps up to 68*/20* on Sat.

By the time they start the 1st XCC it'll resemble a Cyclocross circuit/muck hole..
Going to make for some interesting watching.

This is one desert dog that is glad not to be riding there this week; but if you threw in a free trip and a new power washer I'd consider it. [Sarc] Day time high's are still 101*-105* (38*/41*) here.

Anyone found a Start List yet?
  • 1 0
 @jackkson: Thank You.
  • 3 0
 Would be cool to see bikechecks, especially which tires they run on these wet roots. Having ridden and raced DH and Enduro for many years, i really struggle with my new cc(ish) bike on wet roots.
  • 6 0
 Superb pictures!
  • 3 0
 That track reminds me of the Forest of Dean on a normal day in the UK, some of it looks just like Dowies Smile
  • 2 0
 Racing is happening today! Short track at 10:30 a.m. EST. www.redbull.com/us-en/events/uci-mountain-bike-world-cup-czech-republic
  • 1 0
 XCC this afternoon, XCO tomorrow morning on Redbull TV, then a quick switch over to NBCsports Gold for La Fleche Wallonne. This work from home thing during the pandemic has some advantages.
  • 3 0
 Kate's goal should be to see if she can keep her mouth closed for at least one photo in a weekend.
  • 2 0
 What tires did Nino have on in his test run, Rekon Race? I thought the Aspen was his favorite.
  • 2 0
 If that weather keeps up, mayhem
  • 5 0
 Can't f-ing wait!!
  • 3 0
 MVDP racing?
  • 4 0
 @fflyin Sadly no MVDP. If I'm not mistaken he'll be racing in the 5 day "Binck Bank Tour" in Belgium, which also starts tomorrow.
  • 2 0
 No MTB racing for MvdP this year; preparation for the 'Spring classics' have now taken priority; which while understandable, it's a shame not to see him racing MTB, and defending his European title.
  • 2 0
 Surely a carbon front mudguard would be worth the weight penalty?
  • 1 0
 Doesn't help against pack roost though, but yes, why not for the minimal penalty.
  • 1 1
 Tire clearance may be an issue with a mudguard though, been at a fair few really muddy races where riders have had to stop and unclog mud from those lightweight mudguards.I doubt it's a risk the top riders would want to take as it could be the make or break of their race
  • 1 0
 It kinda looks like PF-P has one on the front of her bike.
  • 1 0
 why does emily batty brake with the wrong fingers? or have i been doing it wrong?
  • 3 0
 Compared to the top 20 in any WC field (XC & DH) we are pretty much all doing everything very very wrong!
  • 2 0
 Perhaps because they are the longest ones she has and cant reach with the normal ones ?
  • 1 0
 Its likely a message to photographer.
  • 2 0
 Ross Bell is such a great photographer.
  • 1 0
 is there a link to watch? is anyone casting this live? tx
  • 2 0
 RedBull.tv
  • 1 2
 If all past X/C looked like this, Think what ‘Enduro would look like today!

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