The first round of the UCI XC MTB World Cup starts this weekend in Albstadt, Germany, and as you may have heard, there's already been a bit of controversy. If you've been poking around on social media, you may have noticed a few riders who aren't typically very vocal expressing displeasure
about this year's course. The reason for the displeasure - a smoothing out, or dumbing down if you will, of some of the more technical aspects of the course. The reason for the smoothing out so much of the track is said to be for safety concerns after a few nasty crashes at last year's race, but to many this is just setting the sport back two steps, not progressing it.
Mountain biking comes with risk, every time you throw a leg over the top tube you know that there is a chance of injury, especially if one is headed out to race. Some of the measures surely make for a safer course, but others seem like they will allow for more speed, and if it's wet they could lead to the very injuries they were trying to prevent. Another concern is that this course isn't World Championship caliber, and Albstadt is slated for Worlds next year. Luckily, there is time between now and then, and we have the upcoming weekend of racing to see how things pan out. For now, let's take a peek at what is in store.