For the third round of the 2019 World Cup XC season, we return to Vallnord. This venue always throws up some of the best racing because of its unique challenge, riding at altitude. The track which sits 1900m above sea level puts a strain on the riders as they push the red line throughout the race. Some opt to stay at altitude for the week before the race to acclimatise and others arrive as close to the race as possible to limit the effects. Either way, you can expect some of the best racing and some very tired riders at the end of the weekend.
We aren't expecting many changes to the course in Vallnord but so far this year the course designers have liked to throw in a few changes like the pump track section in Nove Mesto or the controversial wooden sections at Albstadt. For those that prefer a more traditional course with both challenging ascents and descents then Vallnord has it all with plenty of rock features and some of the toughest climbs riders will face all year.
Vallnord has been featured on the World Cup circuit since 2013 with it missing a year in 2014 before hosting the World Championships. Since 2015 it has been in every World Cup season with Nino Schurter being the only rider to appear dominant at the venue.
Elite Men: Nino Schurter
Elite Women: Sabine Spitz
Elite Men: Julien Absalon
Elite Women: Jolanda Neff
Elite Men: Nino Schurter
Elite Women: Yana Belomoina
Elite Men: Gerhard Kerschbaumer
Elite Women: Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa
2015 World Championships:
Nino SchurterElite Women:
Pauline Ferrand Prevot
Last round recap
The forecast for this weekend is mixed and it's looking quite likely that we might see some wet conditions on the track.
Friday, July 5
- Short TrackSunny // 25°C // 1% precipitation // wind 6km/h // 9km/h gustsSaturday, July 6
- PracticeSunny // 22°C // 25% precipitation // wind 11km/h // 18km/h gustsSunday, July 7
- Under 23 Men, Under 23 Women, Elite Men, Elite WomenA thunderstorm in the area // 20°C // 55% precipitation // wind 11km/h // 26km/h gusts
Weather forecast as of Tuesday, July 2. Live updates from Accuweather
ScheduleAll times CESTThursday July 4
• 12:00-14:00 // Official XCO Training - Women Under 23 and Elite
• 14:00-16:00 // Official XCO Training - Men Under 23 and EliteFriday July 5
• 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
• 16:300-17:15 // Official XCC Training - Men
• 17:30 // World Cup Cross-country Short Track - Women
• 18:15 // World Cup Cross-country Short Track - MenSaturday July 6
• 09:30-11:30 // Official XCO Training - Women
• 11:00-13:30 // Official XCO Training - Men
• 13:30-14:30 // Official XCO Training - All ridersSunday July 7
• 08:30 // World Cup Cross-country Olympic - Women Under 23
• 10:15 // World Cup Cross-country Olympic - Men Under 23
• 12:20 // World Cup Cross-country Olympic - Women Elite - Followed by Awards
• 14:50 // World Cup Cross-country Olympic - Men Elite - Followed by AwardsNote: 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 Andorra 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)
- Vallnord XCC Women and Men: Friday, July 5 - 5:20pm (7:20am PDT, 10:20am EDT, 4:20pm GMT, 02:20am NZST)
- Vallnord XCO Women: Sunday, May 26 - 11:00am (2:00am PDT, 5:00am EDT, 10:00am GMT, 9:00pm NZST)
- Vallnord XCO Men: Sunday, May 26 - 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“Nino Schurter will be back with a vengeance after losing out to MVDP at the last round, after a few weeks off from racing he will be looking to secure the win in Andorra. Gerhard Kerschbaumer put in an amazing performance in Vallnord last year and even managed to beat Schurter, he will be looking to repeat his win and prove his speed after a tough start to the season. Henrique Avancini is always at the top of the field and I predict he will complete the top three in Andorra, he came fourth behind MVDP here last year and with the Dutch rider sitting out the next few World Cups Avancini will want to prove himself once again.Jolanda Neff hasn't had the start to the season she would have wanted but she has a history of doing well on the Andorran course so expect to see her at the front of the race from the very beginning. After two back to back wins you have to include Kate Courtney but I think Neff's greater experience on the course and dealing with the altitude will give her the edge come race day. It will be great to see which of these fast women will take the win because it really could be either of them. For the third pick, you can't rule out Yana Belomoina who has won here multiple times as an Elite and Junior rider. She has had a great start to the season so far and I expect her to back it up with another top finish in Vallnord."
1 // Nino SCHURTER
2 // Gerhard KERSCHBAUMER
3 // Henrique AVANCINI
1 // Jolanda NEFF
2 // Kate COURTNEY
3 // Yana BELOMOINA
Don't forget to complete your XC Fantasy team before racing kicks off. If you don't know who to pick, check out last round's results for Short Track
for some idea as to who's going fast.
The Fantasy XC League is Presented by Trek and SRAM.