Course Preview: Crisp and Clean - Snowshoe XC World Cup 2019

Sep 5, 2019
by Matthew DeLorme  


Here we are at the final round of the World Cup season. The bittersweet end. We've returned to the United States of America, Snowshoe, West Virginia, to be exact. There was much excitement to see a brand new course, and having ridden here at Snowshoe on several occasions and knowing what the terrain is like, I was excited to see what they had cooked up. They did a bang-up job on the DH track after all.

While the course isn't bad, it's just, well, not really inspired. First thought was, "Holy sh*t that's a lot of grass." There are a few nice fresh cut technical sections that I may have gone overboard photographing, but they are real purdy. I do wish they would have incorporated more fresh-cut woods sections, but that said, lets again leave judgment for race day. If anything, the laps will be fast. Go ahead, argue about beer.

It starts and ends on the main thorough fair of the village.
It starts and ends on the main thoroughfare of the village.

A little smother than the Koppenberg but same basic idea.
A little smoother than the Koppenberg, but same basic idea.

The course snakes back and forth over the open field by the main village many many times.
The course snakes back and forth over the open field by the main village many, many times.

Vrooooooooooom.
Vrooooooooooom.

There are a couple nice fly over bridges.
There are a couple of nice flyover bridges.

If anything the pace will be quick.
If anything the pace will be quick.

The are some big bear bombs to avoid out there.
The are some big bear bombs to avoid out there. This one has a wee spider on it.

Im running out of words. Ride the lawn.
I'm running out of words. Ride the lawn.

A nice little grass descent.
A nice little grass descent.

Hey look More grass.
Hey look! More grass.

Going up
Going up!

There is a little loose road climbing as well.
There is a little loose road climbing as well.

Chunder.
Chunder.

There is one massive man made rock garden.
There is one massive man-made rock garden.

We do wish there was more of this.
We do wish there was more of this.

So fresh the lines aren t burned in yet.
So fresh the lines aren't burned in yet.

That stump looks like it was cut yesterday.
That stump looks like it was cut yesterday.

Fresh tracks.
Fresh tracks.

Two lines but which will be faster
Two lines, but which will be faster?

Doesn t it just make you want to ride your bike.
Doesn't it just make you want to ride your bike?

Deep ruts and root channels.
Deep ruts and root channels.

Roots and rocks that s what it s all about.
Roots and rocks, that's what it's all about.

This line will be better burned in after a day of practice.
This line will be better burned in after a day of practice.

Sadly the grass seems to go on....
Sadly the grass seems to go on....

......and on.
......and on.


More high speed climbing.
More high speed climbing.

Wee bits of single track snake through the woods.
Wee bits of singletrack snake through the woods.

Rumble strip.
Rumble strip.

This rock studded climb will definitely slow things down a bit.
This rock-studded climb will definitely slow things down a bit.

More double track climbing.
More double track climbing.

This climb seems like it should be a descent.
This climb seems like it should be a descent.

A little bit of South Eastern flow.
A little bit of Southeastern flow.



66 Comments

  • 17 1
 They should have started in the Village and run up to and out Cheat Mountain Ridge, down 6,000 Steps and then back up the mountain on the beginner downhill trails to finish back in the village. Now that would be a hell of an XC race!
  • 8 0
 That’s what we did for collegiate nationals in 2015/2016 and it was awesome!
  • 17 1
 Wait, What, no 4+ foot wooden drops, no berms? That's not downcountry enough of you West Virginia!!!
  • 12 4
 Great... they go through all the trouble of bringing hundreds of people from the other side of the world. So they can ride around a meadow. How daft are the UCI MTB organizers? Riding on taped grass sections is miles from a modern XC course. The new cut sections look great. Why not insist on less boring grass sections from the very beginning? I'm sure there are many reasons, but at this stage I just don't care. If the venue can't provide a high level XC track, why on Earth are they hosting an event? Please UCI do a better job. If you're local bike park had grass meadows for an XC track they'd be out of business.
  • 7 3
 The only mistake here is that there are no flat out off camber grass corners on descents... that would be interesting. It looks legit, did you miss all other pictures? These roots are savage. If it will rain it will be quite a show. It looks way better than Albstadt which looked like the lamest thing one could hit with tires fatter than 37c
  • 1 1
 @WAKIdesigns: sure, let's see more of this

m.pinkbike.com/news/lars-forster-to-miss-nove-mesto-world-cup-after-albstadt-crashes.html

Really fun to watch, es lebe der Sport...
  • 3 2
 @wildedge586: no, that was not fun to watch. perhaps because there was 1. A half arsed berm his front wheel went over and 2.A f*cking metal pole firmly stuck into the ground that he went on. One of many.

But if you made it like this:
www.pinkbike.com/photo/17422036

it would be much more interesting to watch, safer and giving justice to world class athletes than a course designed for assfaced fat E-bike dads and moms hurling their fat kids on 20" fat bikes. Because that is exactly what Albstadt course is. Shit pulp with soy bacon. A celebration of skill vs celebration of utter mediocrity - A difference you see...
  • 3 0
 @WAKIdesigns: yep, taped like on your linked photo i can get behind more off camber sections.

But i hate to see pros hurt themselves on stupid course design. High consequence lines in Ews have taken out too many riders this year. Yes little practice and tiredness not comparable to XC but still.

Seen it too many times
  • 1 2
 @wildedge586: The thing is, pros get hurt this year a lot but it doesn't have as much to do with track design. Lots of bad luck and it is obvious many just turned the heat up too much. But wide open grassy turns are safe to crash on, especially in wet. Maybe not as fast as MSA, I meant like slalom courses. Setting up a few poles in a grassfield is the most underrated technical feature in mountain biking. The second is an offcamber turn on roots. As soon as people organize "World Cup" the initial reaction will be to dumb down half of the existing local track, unconsciously making it unnecessarily dangerous, then build a couple of really dangerous features with the goal to make them hard and dangerous. Not all venues are immune to that thinking. Flat turns are a hard technical feature, just like a set of mellow jumps. But most Joeys, Jeffreys and Jerrys rcognize only huge boulders as something "technical", while in most cases, majority of riders will use same line and same technique to ride them. So well... I root for slalom on open grass fields, both for XC and for DH. Imagine how cool would that be if they made two paralell sections of 6-8 turns so that racers could overtake each other. Very simple, fast and cheap to make. Faster than take a couple of rocks to make a stupid artificial rock garden which take hours of people and machinery. there is nothing more stupid than man made rock gardens. There just isn't. I remember when a few local dudes took a digger, biggest rocks they could find, made a "rock garden" and then my buddy from amateur class came and jumped the whole thing on the first training day. So they repositioned rocks making it not much harder, just more dangerous.
  • 3 1
 @WAKIdesigns: "there is nothing more stupid than man made rock garden" - second that
  • 3 0
 Probably because the "normal" XC race routes in the area are longer backcountry trails, but XCO requires a short 20 minute loop. Looks like the grass sections at least have decent gradient to keep things interesting, should have some nice side-by-side racing going into the singletrack.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Yep, track looks good to me.
  • 3 0
 The amount of Grass is disappointing, but put the blame on the local organizers as well not just the UCI. The Local organizers are responsible for the designing the courses. Yes they have UCI standards to follow, but the real reason you see so much open meadow racing on a lot of the tracks is that's its less expensive for TV Coverage. Less Cameras can cover more of the race.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: great idea actually. Dual slalom right before the finish sprint would be epic.
  • 1 0
 Bruh did you scroll past the first like, 6 images? This course is as gnarly as Lenzerhiede and the grass section isn't more than a couple KM long.
  • 1 0
 @scissors888: I would also bet that this is the reason for so much grass all the time
  • 1 0
 @cgreaseman: couple km is half the course. The rest of the course does look great. but thats a lot of grass track
  • 3 0
 @dthomp325: Yep, most of the "XC" trails around snowshoe are brutally technical and not is spots that are very spectator friendly.
  • 12 1
 Looks like something out of a crossfit competition.
  • 9 0
 Nah, those riders are wearing way too much clothing for that.
  • 15 10
 You guys know obviously nothing about crossfit. At least it makes people move themselves, get fired up by something, get a sense of community rooting for them. Crossfit can make you incredibly strong and fit. An invaluable cardio exercise aimed to make you oush your limits constantly. Let’s be serious and non cynical about this soon Olympic discipline of athletics. If you are so smart and above this try doing this and then come back to me:

www.instagram.com/p/B2DAC5Mnkcm/?igshid=olxbchotp4li
  • 6 1
 @WAKIdesigns: you had me going for a moment!
  • 3 2
 @iamamodel: That's what I do!
  • 10 0
 The first rule of crossfit is you never stop talking about crossfit.
  • 18 3
 @High-Life: Like at the funeral.

"Mary was a mother of 3, grandmother of 5, she was a community member few don't recognize. During her work at the preschool, she took care of literally thousands of children, each of the remembering them fondly. Just like I do. I was one of those kids. May God have her in his glory as she transcends to heaven, leaving the mourning family... is there anything anyone would like to add before we lower her body into the ground and let her soul transcend to heavens? Yes Michael? - I do crossfit. It is awesome. I hope she can do crossfit in heaven. Because crossfit is so good. If I didn't do crossfit... - thank you MIchael... ekhem... anybody, yes Jenny? - I'm vegan and want to fight for transgende... - ok... thank you for your kind words, we will now... what is this Frank? Would you like to say something about Mary? - yes, E-bikes are for lazy fkturds, she owned one, and I HOPE SHE BURNS IN HELL! In fact I hope she gets electrified by a lightning and comes back to life inside that coffin and suffocates in agonizing pain and panic! Let it be her last memory! SHE DESERVES IT!"
  • 4 2
 @WAKIdesigns: My Morning OJ just shot out my nose, thanks.
  • 4 0
 @WAKIdesigns: That simple post defines the whole internet thank you. Care that I copy paste somewhere else and just say it comme from WAKIdesigns in the comments sections of pinkbike.com ?
  • 1 0
 @opignonlibre: hahah no problem.
  • 3 0
 @WAKIdesigns: That's good internet.
  • 4 1
 This is not the type of course to help XC become more popular here. They have a beast of a DH track and then this "dirt roadie" course. OK that might be a little harsh but I would have loved to see a more technical track to showcase to people here in the states that XC courses are changing and entice more support so there could be more XC races here in the future. Hope I'm wrong and the speed of the race will help it standout.
  • 4 0
 The first part on the grass looked like a cyclocross course. Not that I don't like it, I love racing CX, but I was relieved when I saw the rock garden and the root sections
  • 5 0
 I know they are fast climbers but uphill berms?
  • 1 0
 They are climbing up some of the blue downhill trails, so yeah they should be going down that trail. I think the open grass sections are for easy viewing as it’s at the very top next to the village. The rock garden is legit and I hope they leave it after the race. It’ll be fun on a DH bike.
  • 5 0
 Just rode this course the other day pictures don't really do it justice.
  • 1 0
 Hopefully we'll get a pre-race ride video or two to give us a better look at the track. There are some interesting sections but until I can see how it all ties together I'm withhold judgement. With all of that off camber grass a little moisture could make it a Slip-n-Slide.

I wonder if there's enough rough stuff to balance the books against all of that grass to make a FS worth it?
We could see a lot of HT's this weekend.

Bud??? Yuck!!!
  • 1 0
 Walking the track you really notice how rough the surface is through the grass and on some of the dirt road sections. Either that is enough, or they just brought the same bikes as last week since almost everyone is riding their FS this weekend.

The Short Track course tonight could 100% be a CX course though. It was kinda cool that some spots could see 75% of the course, but man did that course lead to nothing happening at all. Most of the course was a "drag" section as one rider put it, usually courses only drag near the pits and the finish.
  • 1 0
 Wow. *Judging by the pictures*, Agreed, the tech bits look nice, but more of them. I'm not a great rider but I could ride that no problem! My kid siblings could probably ride all but the techiest spots. I don't know if that can be called doubletrack anymore, that looks wide enough to drive an F350 through. Call it quadratrack, for the ATV's to get through... better injury response so we should be happy I suppose. Bar the rock garden + a freak accident though, idk if they could get injured... Wink Razz
  • 1 0
 PB Comments: Trails are too crazy gnarly hard, riders are dropping like flies, too many injuries, this is dangerous!
Also PB Comments: WHAT.. IS THAT? A STRIDER BIKE CX COURSE?! THIS IS SANITIZED! THIS IS NOT TRUE MTB'ing!!!
Wink Big Grin
  • 2 0
 Soooo everyone is keyboard bitchin about the xc track but everyone seems to like the DH course . . . .not sure where im going with this. . . .o ya DH!!!!!!!
  • 1 0
 I first started reading this and I was like "thought the track was dope"! Then I released it was the XC course. I admit I completely forgot about the XC racing. Seems like my priorities (and probably theirs) was solely on the the DH.
  • 4 2
 Why the picture of Budweiser. I have been to Snowshoe many times and have only seen one person ever drink that crap.
  • 7 1
 Yup, it’s a bummer.
Saw Peaty drinking a Bud Light Lime on a Instagram story. I was saddened by that.
  • 3 1
 Can't let the world know how great our beer is here in WV. Don't wanna end up like Champaign, FR!
  • 1 1
 Guess what totally doesn't have anything to do with racing?
  • 2 0
 @BeerGuzlinFool: ^^ this guy gets it!
  • 1 0
 Whatever happened to single track? I know all the reasons courses are wide and open, but I sure miss watching riders on actual single track.
  • 1 0
 EDIT: wanted to add that the man-made rock garden is far steeper than it looks. TONS of full-on yard sale crashes in practice.
  • 1 0
 They must've seen the outrage at the MSA injuries/evac mess and figured since they couldn't get a heli, they'd make it smooth enough to take someone off on a quad. Razz
  • 8 7
 Leave it up to pinkbikerds to cast a negative shadow on a track they could barely walk down. Punks
  • 8 3
 Are you referring to the DH track that one could barely walk down, or are you referring to the XC course, which the photos in this article are of? My dead grandma could walk around this XC course.
  • 4 1
 @handynzl: That would be creepy anywhere but West Virginia.
  • 2 0
 An XCO race is hard. It will hurt sufficiently. Nobody here could hang.
  • 1 2
 True but it's a bummer to go from a super entertaining techy XC course like MSA to this grassy hill race. Clearly from the DH course previews there's no shortage of gnarly rocks at Snowshoe... yet they build a man-made rock garden in a wide open field and put most of the race on wide open piste....
  • 2 0
 On second thought, I'm probably being too harsh. I just had epic expectations after seeing the DH course. We'll see how the race plays out - those root sections could get pretty spicy once they get ridden in.
  • 3 1
 At least Canada has XC courses sorted out... lol
  • 1 1
 I've race this track 3x in my lifetime. Absolutely love it and is easily my favorite "big time" race course out there. Gonna be a sick weekend of riding for everyone!
  • 1 1
 It is a great stop for the tour. The XC and DH courses look awesome. Super technical with rocks/roots and the dirt looks amazing.
  • 1 0
 Ok, actually, let's calm down, it could be worse, and it has potential and should be a break from MSA/injuries. Big Grin
  • 1 2
 Now when you said "Chunder", was that reffering to the people clad in lycra or was it the rocks in the rock garden??

I can't tell.
  • 2 2
 From MSA to this..... just wow.
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.032841
Mobile Version of Website