...And just like that, the season is nearly over. We head into the penultimate round of the XC World Cup this weekend in Lenzerheide but it seems like the season only started a few weeks ago.
Lenzerheide drew a huge crowd last year, possibly the biggest ever. The atmosphere was electric and the home crowd cheered on three Swiss XC World Champions - Nino Schurter, Alessandra Keller (U23) and Alexandre Balmer (Junior). On top of that, a cumulative 46 million reportedly tuned in to watch the World Championships as a whole, making it the most viewed mountain bike event ever, truly impressive stuff.
Lenzerheide's high-altitude challenge returns again this year and it's set to test riders once again. With titles on the line, stakes are high and the racing promises to be furious. Here's all the info you need before the weekend.
Lenzerheide is one of the more technical tracks on the circuit with plenty of rooty woods sections and some sizable drops and rock rolls in the spectator-friendly open parts. It has remained largely unchanged since its inception on to the circuit so expect a similar layout for this year's event.
Elite Men: Jaroslav Kulhavy
Elite Women: Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesja
Elite Men: Nino Schurter
Elite Women: Jenny Rissveds
Elite Men: Nino Schurter
Elite Women: Annie Last
2018 - World Championships:
Elite Men: Nino Schurter
Elite Women: Kate Courtney
Last round recap
The rains held off in Val di Sole for the XC, which made for fast-paced, hot as heck, action-packed racing. For the men, Mathieu van der Poel, Mathias Flueckiger, and Nino Schurter fought hard until the final lap when Mathieu van der Poel decided he had had enough hanging around and had to go. Mathias Flueckiger took a well earned second, and Nino would take third. In the women's race, Neff and Ferrand Prevot battled it out all race but the Frenchwoman took it in the final sprint to the line.
1st. Mathieu Van Der Poel: 1:20:47
2nd. Mathias Flueckiger: +18
3rd. Nino Schurter: +53
4th. Henrique Avancini: +1:46
5th. Luca Braidot: +2:01
6th. Milan Vader: +2:42
7th. Daniele Braidot: +2:47
8th. Thomas Litscher: +2:55
9th. Gerhard Kerschbaumer: +3:10
10th. Stephane Tempier: +3:13
1st. Pauline Ferrand Prevot: 1:21:59
2nd. Jolanda Neff: +1
3rd. Jenny Rissveds: +1:01
4th. Yana Belomoina: +1:29
5th. Anne Tauber: +1:56
6th. Chloe Woodruff: +2:44
7th. Rebecca Mcconnell: +3:00
8th. Tanja Zakelj: +3:21
9th. Catharine Pendrel: +3:35
10th. Eva Lechner: +3:42
1. Nino Schurter - 1390
2. Mathieu Van Der Poel - 1274
3. Henrique Avancini - 1165
4. Mathias Flueckiger - 1143
5. Jordan Sarrou - 813
6. Gerhard Kerschbaumer - 802
7. Maxime Marotte - 668
8. Ondrej Cink - 630
9. Jens Schuermans - 588
10. Titouan Carod - 578
1. Jolanda Neff - 1415
2. Kate Courtney - 1382
3. Anne Terpstra - 950
4. Pauline Ferrand Prevot - 940
5= Anne Tauber - 805
5= Sina Frei - 805
7. Rebecca McConnell - 797
8. Elisabeth Brandau - 754
9. Yana Belomoina - 744
10. Haley Smith - 641
The forecast for this weekend is mixed and it's looking quite likely that we might see some wet conditions on the track.
Friday, Aug 9
- Short TrackSunshine and some clouds, a shower or thunderstorm; warm // 22°C // 55% precipitation // wind 7km/h Saturday, Aug 10
- PracticeTimes of clouds and sun, a shower or thunderstorm around; remaining warm // 24°C // 40% precipitation // wind 6km/hSunday, Aug 11
- Under 23 Men, Under 23 Women, Elite Men, Elite WomenTimes of clouds and sun, a couple of showers and a thunderstorm; turning colder in the afternoon // 21°C // 63% precipitation // wind 7km/h
Weather forecast as of Thursday, August 8. Live updates from Accuweather
ScheduleAll times CESTThursday, Aug 8
• 12:00-14:00 // Official XCO Training - Women Under 23 and Elite
• 14:00-16:00 // Official XCO Training - Men Under 23 and EliteFriday, Aug 9
• 09:30-11:00 // Official XCO Training - Women Under 23 and Elite
• 11:00-12:30 // Official XCO Training - Men Under 23 and Elite
• 12:30-14:30 // Official XCO Training - All riders
• 15:45-16:30 // Official XCC Training - Women
• 16:30-17:15 // Official XCC Training - Men
• 17:30 // World Cup Cross-country Short Track - Women
• 18:15 // World Cup Cross-country Short Track - MenSaturday, Aug 10
• 08:30-10:30 // Official XCO Training - Women
• 10:30-12:30 // Official XCO Training - Men
• 13:30-14:30 // Official XCO Training - All ridersSunday, Aug 11
• 09:00 // World Cup Cross-country Olympic - Women Under 23
• 11:20 // World Cup Cross-country Olympic - Women Elite - Followed by Awards
• 13:50 // World Cup Cross-country Olympic - Men Elite - Followed by Awards
• 16:10 // World Cup Cross-country Olympic - Men Under 23Note: All times are local and subject to change by the UCI/event organiser.
How to watch
Pinkbike will be providing you with the best daily coverage from our team of photographers in Lenzerheide this week. Tune in to Pinkbike to catch photo epics, results, news and tech.
All the elite races can be streamed live on redbull.tv
Schedule:(All times in CEST, replay available immediately following the races)
- Val Di Sole XCC Women and Men: Friday, Aug 2 - 5:20pm (7:20am PDT, 10:20am EDT, 4:20pm GMT, 02:20am NZST)
- Val Di Sole XCO Women: Sunday, Aug 4 - 11:00am (2:00am PDT, 5:00am EDT, 10:00am GMT, 9:00pm NZST)
- Val Di Sole XCO Men: Sunday, Aug 4 - 1:30pm (4:30am PDT, 7:30am EDT, 12:30pm GMT, 11:30pm NZST)Note: These times are subject to change. Please check with your local provider.
Pinkbike Predictions"With less than a week of recovery time, it's hard to see the results being too different from Val di Sole. We think another battle between Jolanda Neff and Pauline Ferrand Prevot is on the cards and it could go either way. Neff will be hurt after being pipped in the sprint so she will be keen to make amends this week and we think she could just take it on home soil. Keep an eye on Chloe Woodruff this weekend too. She has been rapidly improving all year and it wouldn't be the first time an American woman has had a breakout ride on this track.
"We saw Mathieu Van Der Poel on another level last weekend. This will be his last World Cup of the year as he starts to prepare for the road World Championships so he will be keen to leave with a bang as we head into an Olympic year. We expect to see a Swiss rider up there on home soil but after his strong performance last weekend Flueckiger, not Schurter, could be that guy. Finally, Gerhard Kerschbaumer was so close to the win here last year and was the only real challenge to Schurter's dominant performance, expect him to be right up there again this weekend."
1 // Mathieu VAN DER POEL
2 // Mathias FLUECKIGER
3 // Gerhard KERSCHBAUMER
1 // Jolanda NEFF
2 // Pauline FERRAND-PREVOT
3 // Chloe WOODRUFF
Don't forget to complete your XC Fantasy team before racing kicks off. If you don't know who to pick, our mid-season analysis
for some idea as to who's going fast.
The Fantasy XC League is Presented by Trek and SRAM.