Continuing a packed month of World Cup racing in June after the flat-out Enduro racing in the Finale Outdoor Region the DH World Cup finally kicks off its 2023 series in Lenzerheide. This weekend will be another test for the new ESO Sports and Warner Brothers Discovery. setup as it gets its first chance to impress with the new DH coverage and race format. Here is everything you need to know ahead of the 2023 DH World Cup opening weekend.
Where is the Opening Round?
As a regular venue on the World Cup circuit, Lenzerheide is a known quantity for both riders and fans as it offers a technical high-speed course to test riders' nerves as they make their way down the mountain to finish up their race run with a huge drop into the finish area. With high speeds and tight times, this will be a great opener to the 2023 series.
What's the Track Like?Ben Cathro and Thibault Laly take a run down the 2022 World Cup course
There haven't been many changes to the Lenzerheide course since it first featured on the world circuit, although recent years have seen some fresh wood sections thrown in to mix things. The track has always been flat-out, with riders hitting high speeds before the classic big drop into the finish area.
When and What Racing is Happening this Weekend?
With the XC World Cup also taking place there is no shortage of action, here is the current schedule for the weekend according to the Lenzerheide World Cup website
at the time of writing. All times CESTWednesday, June 7
• 14:00-17:00 // Training - Juniors OnlyThursday, June 8
• 09:00-14:00 // Training
• 14:45-15:30 // Qualifying - Junior Women
• 16:00-17:00 // Qualifying - Junior MenFriday, June 9
• 09:00-13:00 // Training
• 13:15-14:00 // Finals - Junior Women
• 14:00-14:45 // Finals - Junior Men
• 15:30-16:00 // Qualifying - Elite Women
• 16:00-16:45 // Qualifying - Elite MenSaturday, June 10
• 08:30-10:00 // Training
• 10:45-11:20 // Semi-Final - Elite Women
• 11:20-13:00 // Semi-Final - Elite Men
• 13:00-13:00 // Finals - Elite Women
• 14:00-15:00 // Finals - Elite MenNote: All times are local and subject to change by the UCI/event organizer.
What's the Weather Expected to be?
It looks like we are in for a thunderous start to the DH World Cup season as rain and thunderstorms are expected throughout the week. The best day of the event looks to be Saturday for the big day of racing with Semi-Finals in the morning followed by Finals. Wednesday, June 7Variable clouds with a couple of showers and a thunderstorm // 18°C // 88% probability of precipitation // 35% probability of thunderstorms // wind 6km/hThursday, June 8Partly sunny with a couple of showers and a thunderstorm // 18°C // 48% probability of precipitation // 35% probability of thunderstorms // wind 6km/hFriday, June 9Periods of clouds and sun with a couple of showers and a thunderstorm // 20°C // 88% probability of precipitation // 35% probability of thunderstorms // wind 7km/hSaturday, June 10Periods of clouds and sun with a couple of showers and a thunderstorm; warm // 21°C // 60% probability of precipitation // 24% probability of thunderstorms // wind 7km/h
Weather forecast as of Monday, June 5 from Accuweather
Who Won the 2022 Overall?
Racing doesn't get much better than what we witnessed during the 2022 season. After a dramatic series of races, it was Camille Balanche and Amaury Pierron who came away with the 2022 overall titles.
Elite Women: Camille Balanche
Elite Men: Amaury Pierron
What Happened Last Time at Lenzerheide?
The fourth round of the 2022 downhill World Cup at Lenzerheide saw Gracey Hemstreet lay down a rapid run to pull ahead of the fastest qualifier Phoebe Gale by just under two seconds. Jenna Hastings wrapped up the top three, five seconds back. Pinkbike Racing's Aimi Kenyon made a podium appearance in fifth place. For the Junior Men, it was Jackson Goldstone who came out on top and went one and a half seconds faster than Lachlan Stevens-McNab. Jordan Williams was fastest in the first two splits but lost time on the second half of the track and ended the day in third place.
Myriam Nicole put together an absolutely wild run on the dusty and blown-out course to secure a massive win of over four seconds. Camille Balanche improved upon her top qualifying run but she just didn't have the speed to match Myriam. Eleonora Farina was the only other rider within nine seconds of the winning run and completed the top three.
The Commencal team took a clean sweep of the Elite racing as Amaury Pierron went into the top spot by over 1.4 seconds. Finn Iles had been the man to beat for a large portion of the race but it wasn't enough for the win. Greg Minnaar had a great run to take third place and even beat Amaury in split two.
1st. Myriam Nicole: 3:11.751
2nd. Camille Balanche: 3:16.170
3rd. Eleonora Farina: 3:20.184
4th. Monika Hrastnik: 3:21.979
5th. Vali Höll: 3:22.963
1st. Amaury Pierron: 2:47.153
2nd. Finn Iles: 2:48.555
3rd. Greg Minnaar: 2:48.858
4th. Andreas Kolb: 2:48.865
5th. Benoit Coulanges: 2:49.907
1st. Gracey Hemstreet: 3:28.111
2nd. Phoebe Gale: 3:29.959
3rd. Jenna Hastings: 3:33.793
4th. Izabela Yankova: 3:34.886
5th. Aimi Kenyon: 3:40.734
1st. Jackson Goldstone: 2:50.072
2nd. Lachlan Stevens-McNab: 2:51.585
3rd. Jordan Williams: 2:51.681
4th. Davide Cappello: 2:55.771
5th. Bodhi Kuhn: 2:56.074
Who has Won here Before?
Lenzerheide seems to have a habit of producing repeat winners and seeing the French riders on top. Since it became a World Cup venue in 2015 Rachel Atherton and Myriam Nicole have each won three times with Greg Minnaar and Amaury Pierron taking the top step twice. Sadly Myriam Nicole won't be able to attempt to secure three wins in a row as she is sitting out the first sets of World Cups
as she continues to suffer from ongoing concussion symptoms.
2022: Amaury Pierron
2021: Loris Vergier
2019: Amaury Pierron
2018//Worlds: Loïc Bruni
2017: Greg Minnaar
2016: Danny Hart
2015: Greg Minnaar
2022: Myriam Nicole
2021: Myriam Nicole
2019: Marine Cabirou
2018//Worlds: Rachel Atherton
2017: Myriam Nicole
2016: Rachel Atherton
2015: Rachel Atherton
How to Follow the Racing?
Tune in to Pinkbike to catch all the Lenzerheide coverage throughout the week with results, photo epics, bike checks, race analysis and more.
This weekend is the first test for the new DH broadcast coverage and you can find out all the ways to watch the action here