Pinkbike Primer - Nove Mesto World Cup XC 2019

May 23, 2019
by James Smurthwaite  
Gaze Schurter Van der Poel and Indergand take off.

Just like last year, we're kicking off the 2019 World Cup XC season with Albstadt and Nove Mesto falling back to back for the first two rounds. We're expecting a weekend of contrasts with the narrow, smooth and wet German track being replaced by a technical, wide open and (hopefully) sunny weekend in the Czech Republic. Riders have only had a few days to recover from the Albstadt blast but their tired legs will no doubt be reinvigorated by the 30,000 fans that come and line the course year on year. Let's get up to speed on one of the fan favourite races of the XC calendar.

The track

We're not expecting too many changes from the 3.7km route from last year with short, sharp climbs punctuated by technical descents through a pine forest. Each loop features about 170m of climbing and the course is generally taped fairly wide with lots of overtaking opportunities. For those of you disappointed with Albstadt's new guise, this should reaffirm that XC can be raced on proper mountain bike courses.

Previous winners

Nove Mesto is a firm favourite on the circuit and has been a regular feature since 2011. Both races last year came down to sprint finishes with Annika Langvad and Nino Schurter coming out on top. In fact, both Schurter and Langvad have won the past three races here and will probably line up as hot favourites on Sunday.


Elite Men: Jaroslav Kulhavy
Elite Women: Catharine Pendrel


Elite Men: Nino Schurter
Elite Women: Catharine Pendrel


Elite Men: Nino Schurter
Elite Women: Tanja Zakelj


Elite Men: Nino Schurter
Elite Women: Pauline Ferrand Prevot


Elite Men: Jaroslav Kulhavy
Elite Women: Jolanda Neff


Elite Men: Nino Schurter
Elite Women: Annika Langvad


Elite Men: Nino Schurter
Elite Women: Annika Langvad


Elite Men: Nino Schurter
Elite Women: Annika Langvad

Last round recap

Weather forecast

The forecast for this weekend is mixed and it's looking quite likely that we will see wet conditions on track again.

Friday, May 24 - Short Track
Plenty of clouds // 21°C // 7% precipitation // wind 6km/h // 9km/h gusts

Saturday, May 25 - Under 23 Men, Under 23 Women
Intervals of clouds and sunshine, a couple of showers // 21°C // 63% precipitation // wind 9km/h // 13km/h gusts

Sunday, May 19 - Elite Men, Elite Women
Mainly cloudy, a passing shower // 20°C // 55% precipitation // wind 13km/h // 22km/h gusts

Weather forecast as of Wednesday 22 May. Live updates from Accuweather.


Mathieu van der Poel looked strong but had to quit the race after a crash. Van der Poel struggled with an injured wrist resulting in the crash.

All times CEST

Thursday 23 May
• 12:00-13:30 // Official XCO Training - Women Under 23 and Elite
• 13:30-15:00 // Official XCO Training - Men Under 23 and Elite
• 15:00-17:00 // Official XCO Training - All riders including Juniors Series

Friday 24 May
• 09:30-11:00 // Official XCO Training - Women Under 23 and Elite
• 11:00-12:30 // Official XCO Training - Men Under 23 and Elite
• 12:30-14:00 // Official XCO Training - Women Juniors
• 14:00-15:30 // Official XCO Training - Men Juniors
• 16:15-17:00 // Official XCC Training - Women
• 17:00-17:45 // Official XCC Training - Men
• 18:00 // World Cup Cross-country Short Track - Women
• 18:45 // World Cup Cross-country Short Track - Men

Saturday 18 May
• 08:30-10:45 // Official XCO Training
• 11:00 // XCO Under 23 - Women
• 13:00 // XCO Under 23 - Men
• 15:00 // XCO Juniors - Women
• 17:00 // XCO Juniors - Men

Sunday 19 May
• 10:20 // World Cup Cross-country Olympic - Women Elite - Followed by Awards
• 13:35 // World Cup Cross-country Olympic - Men Elite - Followed by Awards

Note: All times are local and subject to change by the UCI/event organiser.

How to watch

the lovely ladies of Czech......

Pinkbike will be providing you with the best daily coverage from our team of photographers in the Czech Republic this week. Tune in to Pinkbike to catch photo epics, results, news and tech.

All the elite races can be streamed live on

(All times in CEST, replay available immediately following the races)

- Nove Mesto XCC Women and Men: Friday, May 24 - 5:50pm (8:50am PDT, 11:50am EDT, 4:50pm GMT, 03:50am NZST)

- Nove Mesto XCO Women: Sunday, May 26 - 10:00am (1:00am PDT, 4:00am EDT, 9:00am GMT, 20:00pm NZST)
- Nove Mesto XCO Men: Sunday, May 26 - 1:15pm (4:15am PDT, 7:15am EDT, 12:15pm GMT, 23:15am NZST)

Note: These times are subject to change. Please check with your local provider.

Pinkbike Predictions

“Nino Schurter didn't win the first round of the World Cup in 2018, but he made a fierce comeback at round two. With three wins in three years in Nove Mesto, it seems likely that recipe is likely to repeat itself and I think he'll be able to come back and take the win at round 2 once again in 2019. Anton Cooper didn't like the Albstadt course and with two flats, his race was obviously a disappointment. I think he'll have something to prove and will finish third in Albstadt behind a powerful Mathieu Van der Poel.
Cannondale Habit
Pinkbike's World Cup Predictor - Sarah Moore
Jolanda Neff was looking incredibly strong at Albstadt and the technical Nove Mesto course that she's won once before will play to her strengths so I'm counting on her for the win in the women's race. It's hard to count out Annika Langvad for a podium after three wins in three years, but after a DNF last weekend, we're not sure where her form will be. Kate Courtney obviously has good early season form and her technical abilities will serve her well in Nove Mesto so I'm backing her for second. Anne Tauber finished in 4th in Albstadt, and I predict she'll have a strong race in Nove Mesto as well for third."

1 // Nino SCHURTER
2 // Mathieu VAN DER POEL
3 // Anton COOPER
1 // Jolanda NEFF
2 // Kate COURTNEY
3 // Anne TAUBER

Fantasy League

Don't forget to complete your XC Fantasy team before racing kicks off. If you don't know who to pick, check out last week's results for Short Track and Olympic for some idea as to who's going fast.

The Fantasy XC League is Presented by Trek and SRAM.

MENTIONS: @trek / @SramMedia


  • 41 0
 Loving all the coverage on this season, it adds to my enjoyment of the racing both in the run up and after. Thanks Pinkbike.
  • 10 0
 Can you add Malene Degn to the fantasy league ? she finished in the top 10
Also Joshua Dubau
  • 5 0
 Also Allan Hatherley
  • 5 0
 And Sina Frei
  • 6 0
 Man, I forgot about that Nino/Anton sprint. Aussies rarely cheer for Kiwis, but dang I was willing him on for the win.
  • 2 0
 The international dynamics are super interesting.
  • 1 0
 @Chadimac22: I think since Absalon wasn't a factor we all started rooting for anyone else than Schurter. Domination always end up being a bit boring.
  • 6 0
 Thanks for the coverage, Pinkbike!!
  • 1 0
 I did not see Nino in top form but he is still the one to beat. MVDP can be hit or miss. Flueckiger can do very good. I expect Kershbaumer to start his season here or next round. French riders always up there. Anton Cooper realistic aim should be getting in the top 10 every race. Then he can start aiming to podium.
  • 1 0
 Text says "Nino", "Mathieu", "Anton" for 1,2,3 respectively. But the numbered guesses have Mathieu and Anton reversed. Just to point out. Thanks for the amazing coverage!
  • 3 0
 Good spot, thank you!
  • 6 3
 @sarahmoore - World Cup Predictor - best job title ever
  • 2 0
 I'm excited for the weekend viewing! Thanks PinkBike and Redbull for the awesome XC race coverage!
  • 3 0
 Great coverage!!! Love it!
  • 2 0
 i love your racing much better than the roadie stuff at cyclingnews and velonews. great photos and writing.
  • 2 1
 For those that like to bash Langvad's technical skills please take note of the previous three years winner.
  • 4 0
 That always cracks me up..she was #2 overall last year, former world champ...yet she can't ride technical courses?
  • 3 0
 @clink83: I feel like the bashing comes from comparing her to the top descenders in women's XC. I'd say it's fair to say that there are others who are better than her, but by no means is she as bad at technical riding as people make her out to be. Her strengths just lie elsewhere.
  • 1 0
 Is the short track going to be on ? Last week I couldn't find it.
  • 1 0
 when will the riders' values be updated?
  • 2 0
 Next year. Values don't change round to round.
  • 1 0
 Looking forward to this!
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