Course Preview: It's a Peanut Butter Jamboree - Albstadt World Cup XC

May 17, 2018
by Matthew DeLorme  


It seems a dog's age since we left the World Cup XC season opener behind us in South Africa. The new venue was a real gem and the racing was quite exciting. But as we enter round two we return to a classic: Albstadt, Germany. Long climbs and open grass sections, loose over hardpack, and a bit of tech to keep riders on their toes. As far as the courses of recent years go, this one seems the tamest. Especially in the dry. But it's been raining here in Germany. A lot. Which has made the track slick. Very slick. The mud here in Albstadt is thick. It doesn't clear. Bikes in preride were gaining all kinds of weight as they collected mud. Wheels stopped turning. We may continue to get enough rain to keep these conditions up, which will keep things quite interesting. We are also looking at the addition of short track this round. While not mandatory, it is worth enough points to move a 3rd or 4th row rider to the 2nd or 1st row come race day. So we will have to watch how that pans out. For now, let us look at the course. Tomorrow we will talk tires and bike set up. Sorry in advance for all the black and white.

If it stays wet people will eat hay.
If it stays wet, people will eat hay.

Something is coming.
Something is coming.

Mitas Devil s Choice. The prime spot for action.
It's full-on peanut butter out there right now. Not the biggest fan of rain after EWS Olargues, but bring it. The racing will be exciting.

That drop exit will be a place to watch.
That drop exit will be a place to watch.

That mud has teeth.
That mud has teeth.




A line B line.
A line / B line.


The climb up to the waterfall.
The climb up to the waterfall.

Greasy slide off a small drop into a right hander.
Greasy slide off a small drop into a right hander.

We are back at it. Be Pumped.
We are back at it. Be Pumped.

This weekend will be all about tire choice and tire pressures.
This weekend will be all about tire choice and tire pressures.

Emily Batty gets ready to head out into the muck.
Emily Batty gets ready to head out into the muck.

Evie Richards sends it down the water fall. Anyone recall a certain spectacular crash here last year
Evie Richards sends it down the waterfall. Anyone recall a certain spectacular crash here last year?

Carlos Coloma tries to give it the gas in the wet.
Carlos Coloma tries to give it gas in the wet.

Mathieu van der Poel is back but he had a crash last week and fractured his wrist. A quick surgery and a screw later and he s back at. But this one might hurt.
Mathieu van der Poel is back, but he had a crash last week and fractured his wrist. A quick surgery and a screw later and he's back at. But this one might hurt.


That mud isn t clearing.
That mud isn't clearing.

Eva Lechner waits as her bike gets a final check over.
Eva Lechner waits as her bike gets a final check over.

It s a slog out there right now.
It's a slog out there right now.

The bike building has started it s time to go racing again.
The bike building has started, it's time to go racing again.

The woods here look spectacular in the fog.
The woods here look spectacular in the fog.

Hair pins for the win. This one always causes a pinch in the early laps.
Hair pins for the win. This one always causes a pinch in the early laps.

In preparation for Worlds 2020. New bridges. New rollers coming into them. Much speed will need to be scrubbed because the backside to the bridge is pretty abrupt.
In preparation for Worlds 2020. New bridges. New rollers coming into them. Much speed will need to be scrubbed because the backside of the bridge is pretty abrupt.

The climbs have been smoothed out a bit more. More crushed rock. Wider. Faster climbing speeds or just kind of boring Time will tell.
The climbs have been smoothed out a bit more. More crushed rock. Wider. Faster climbing speeds, or just kind of boring? Time will tell.

New Climbing surfaces. Lots of crushed rock was added.
New climbing surfaces. Lots of crushed rock was added.

Some of the quickest of the single track sections.
Some of the quickest of the singletrack sections.


Keep rolling in clouds.
Keep rolling in clouds.



61 Comments

  • + 24
 Sucks Mathieu van der Poel is injured for this one. Would be exciting to see him at 100%. After racing cross he'll be at home in the mud.
  • + 8
 Don't forget about the new XCC short course races...those would definitely play into van der Poel's strengths...shorter, all-out intensity. It will also help him get a top starting spot for main XCO race too.
  • + 2
 @Jamminator: After his result in SA he already has a first line starting position (see the number 4 on his plate).
  • + 2
 @pieterp: That's not how the new format works. That 4th would have only guaranteed him [no less than] starting 20th place if he DNF'd or did not race in the Short Course today, potentially as high as 17th if 1-3 from first round finished in Top 16 of XCC. 1-16th XCO starting is strictly reserved for XCC performance, regardless of WC ranking. This is why Nino is starting 17th.
  • + 20
 It's a shame RedBull TV isn't going to cover the new XCC short course format on Friday. From my understanding, the driving principle (aside from XCO starting order BS) was for spectatorship, and with the short length course and shorter race times, it seems like a missed opportunity to do just that...increase viewership. They used to cover the XCE Eliminator races years ago without issue. Maybe it will come later this season.
  • + 5
 I hope they do cover it. Was really disappointed to see they aren't
  • + 3
 @rrsport: Quite agree. It makes no sense not to show it - I expected them to cover it. Short, sharp race, pretty intense.
  • + 20
 But, why all B/W?
  • + 20
 I like to think it's in response to the poster on the EWS photo thread who was butthurt about like... 2 black and white photos. Most likely, however, it's just Matt's artistic discretion.
  • + 63
 Because otherwise, it will be only green and brown. And B&W looked better.
  • + 13
 @Jvhowube: cheers, thanks. Ultimately it is.
  • - 11
flag jayacheess (May 17, 2018 at 16:07) (Below Threshold)
 To an XC racer, riding in the mud is like what the boys must have felt like fighting in the trenches in WW1.

Sorry, sorry. Frown
  • - 1
 likely he accidentally had his camera on B/W for the whole shoot... now playing it off as intended.
  • + 2
 I see it blue and green
  • + 16
 @steveski: not how cameras work
  • + 3
 @mdelorme: that was my first thought. Love it
  • + 0
 Does BW digital have the look of BW film yet? I'm not so sure. Love BW film.
  • + 4
 @mdelorme: Looks great and fits the atmosphere perfectly.
  • + 2
 @steveski: Most pro photogs shoots in raw, which means that no matter which colour-profile you have your camera on, it only affects the preview on the camera, not the file that comes out of the camera. So that the file retains all the data captured from the sensor.
  • + 1
 @mdelorme: I know opinions are like a*sholes butt here’s mine anyway, - would’ve liked to see some of the course in color.
  • + 8
 For what it's worth @mdelorme as someone who still shoots medium format and 4x5 Ilford film, the BW choice perfectly suits the content and looks exquisite. Well done, really captures the foreboding mood and griminess.
  • + 8
 "That mud isn't clearing."

Looks like the frame was rounding it off just fine.
  • + 8
 I just want to see Gaze and Cooper have another nasty nasty battle.
  • + 7
 The only nasty thing about Cooper was his cold at the Commonwealth Games. Where as Gaze was suffering from Momentary Externallization of Extreme Emotion MEEE.
  • + 4
 Those water bottles are going to taste awful.
  • + 3
 Dear pinkbike, we would like to see more coverage about the upcoming 12sp XTR groupeset, thanks ☮️.
  • + 2
 There are some pictures on IG
  • + 0
 @RedRedRe: Link please.
  • + 2
 Any pictures of:
New xtr dual caliper brakes
Xtr 10-51 cassette
Xtr direct mount crankset !!!
  • + 2
 Looks about as much fun as a poke in the eye
  • + 1
 Looks like prime conditions for Ms. Neff's skills...who is apparently racing against doc's orders lol.
  • + 1
 Maybe it's different IRL, but on TV Albstadt is a much less interesting course than the other XCO events.
  • + 1
 Would be awesome to replace it with a race in the US!
  • + 4
 @dthomp325: go ahead, set up an event and apply, simple as that.
  • + 1
 @Muckal: Do you think my backyard would qualify?
  • + 1
 @dthomp325: how would I know Smile since everything in Murica is great again i suppose it would.
  • + 1
 I love Emily's smile. It's as real as the mud. I wish all the racers the best! I know I would be a disaster out there.
  • + 1
 Emily Batty never has to indicate a good side for photographers to shoot.
  • + 1
 That wheel in the trees tho in the pan shot... LOL
  • + 0
 b&w pictures of dirt? Com' on, like there were no spandex or Oakley Blades around?
  • + 1
 This is going to be worth watching.
  • + 1
 Looks amazing!
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