Course Preview: Masterpiece - Lenzerheide World Cup XC 2019

Aug 8, 2019
by Matthew DeLorme  



Here we are at the sixth round of the XC World Cup in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. The venue is surrounded by the Alps' beautiful peaks and the course is a work of art in roots and loam. With a lap length of 4,100 meters and 190 meters of climbing per lap, it's definitely beastly. This course has a bit of everything, Dual Slalom, rock drops, root strewn off-camber climbs, dirt jumps, steep chutes, and flowy singletrack. It truly is a masterpiece, rivaling Nove Mesto in its use of brutal technical terrain. Come take a peek of the finer aspects of this amazing course - this article has an abundance of photos of roots.


A lattice work of roots.
Root latticework.

Line choice will be key.
Line choice will be key.

Chunky climbs that will put a hurting on the back.
Chunky climbs that will put a hurting on the back.

The sections of trail here just look fun to ride. I m not so sure I d want to race them though.
The sections of trail here just look fun to ride. I'm not so sure I'd want to race them though.

The rock.
The rock.

Front side of the rock. It s a tricky one line entry with plenty of room for error.
Front side of the rock. It's a tricky one line entry with plenty of room for error.

Back side.
Back side.

Out of the roots and into the entry of the chute.
Out of the roots and into the entry of the chute.

It s steeper than it looks.
It's steeper than it looks.

The chute. That pad is there for a reason. It s going to be heavily used.
The chute. That pad is there for a reason. It's going to be heavily used.

The climb up out of the chute into the back side.
The climb up out of the chute into the backside.

The field of speed.
The field of speed.

Thin Ribbons of single track with room to pass in the grass. There are cow pies though.
Thin ribbons of singletrack with room to pass in the grass. There are cow pies, though.

Twisty single track to put the power down on the back side of the course.
Twisty singletrack to put the power down on the backside of the course.

These roots are so grown over each other that they make their own feature.
These roots are so grown over each other that they make their own feature.

Plenty of drops to send on this course.
Plenty of drops to send on this course.

Dual Slalom goodness on the back side.
Dual Slalom goodness on the backside.

Entry into the X Class Climb. It gets much more difficult from here on out.
Entry into the X Class Climb. It gets much more difficult from here on out.

This is not a descent. It is the climb that Kate Courtney made her move and got away from Annika Langvad at Worlds last year.
This is not a descent. It is the climb that Kate Courtney made her move and got away from Annika Langvad at Worlds last year.

The X Class Climb. A root strewn punchy off camber hell that will catch many a rider out.
The X Class Climb. A root strewn, punchy, off-camber hell that will catch many a rider out.

In the wet this inside line will catch many riders out the roots run in every direction causing chaos for low profile tread patterns.
In the wet this inside line will catch many riders out. The roots run in every direction causing chaos for low profile tread patterns.

Two lanes in case of heavy traffic.
Two lanes in case of heavy traffic.

One line. Watch your deraileur.
One line. Watch your derailleur.

Line choices and room to pass if you can make it to the pinch point first.
Line choices and room to pass if you can make it to the pinch point first.

Just lovely ribbons of trail everywhere.
Just lovely ribbons of trail everywhere.

Texture.
Texture.

Three lines. Take your pick.
Three lines. Take your pick.

Rocks roots and loam. This course is X heaven.
Rocks, roots, and loam. This course is XC heaven.


Fine root carpets on the uphills are just enough to break traction in the wet.
Fine root carpets on the uphills are just enough to break traction in the wet.

Did we mention roots
Did we mention roots?

Being from the PNW I m a big fan of roots.
Being from the PNW, I'm a big fan of roots.


Regions in Article
Lenzerheide


24 Comments

  • + 37
 Imagine this at your local trails ! Forget about the latest carbon mullet boost idler revved electronic acoustic quiver reach offset equipped piece of marketing we get force fed every day to make us think we are mountain bikers - seeing a rooty piece of single-track that that should be all you need to want to get amped and out and ride anything that's in your garage and have fun doing it
  • + 19
 Thanks for the XC coverage - looks like real mountain biking.
  • + 16
 looks like a proper xc race!
  • + 16
 XC course looks gnarlier than the newly neutered DH course.
  • + 13
 woah, an xc course i would love to ride!
  • + 3
 I would love to ride it too, but hopefully not at race pace and definitely not on the virtually treadles tires typically chosen for XC. That would add a whole new level of difficulty on all those wet roots and slick mud. Amazing the pro racers can go so fast uphill through those janky roots with such meager rubber.
  • + 10
 Now this is a track...very little man made bike park stuff or wide open superhighway...just lots of rugged single track.
  • + 10
 I am exhausted from just looking at the pictures LOL.
  • + 9
 xc course is lit !
  • + 7
 That's rad.
  • + 6
 Fantastic photos. Thanks for the XC coverage!
  • + 4
 Very PNW looking indeed... Looking forward to watching the coverage
  • + 5
 Brutal!
  • + 3
 Those wooden poles look fun to fall on when you screw up the line on the rock...
  • + 4
 Ah yes, The Rock. IMPO, the biggest make or break point of Lenzerheide. Last year at World's it was the Rock that cost Annika the race, not the bobble in the roots on the last lap. If you watched closely, Annika took the B-Line around it all 7 laps. That line was in the neighborhood of 7-9 seconds slower per lap. Times 7 laps equals a whole lot of time to give up.
Even when Kate stalled out on the Rock in Lap 6 she still picked up about 5 seconds on Annika. Basically, by not riding or being able to ride the Rock, it's like handing out free candy (time) to your competition.

Great venue, looking forward to this weekend.

Thanks PB for adding more depth to your MTB coverage.
  • + 1
 Agree.... "feel free to choose between the blue steak or the crash mat during your fall"
  • + 3
 This is what new trails should look like. Techie goodness. Need to par down on the flow trails.
  • - 1
 Xc track ? Try matching the times that they do on a DH bike and then you can speak. Cause every thing might seem easy but when you are on it you might say f*ck that was not that easy ,it’s the speed they are going that makes it hard,and not just I made it on a xc bike
  • + 2
 Testing course, love it! Appreciate the XC coverage & great photos.
  • + 2
 I love this article! Just sexy trail porn all the way.
  • + 3
 xc is the new gnar
  • + 1
 course very technical, who will win? MVDP or Nino?
  • + 1
 Love the coverage. Thanks PB
  • + 2
 Looks brutal! Love it

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