Course Preview: Thin Air Hurt Locker - Vallnord World Cup XC 2019

Jul 4, 2019
by Matthew DeLorme  



Here we are, back for round three of the XC World Cup in Vallnord, Andorra. The season has been incredibly exciting so far, with Nino and Mathieu van der Poel both taking a win. The course for round three is a punishing mix of long climbs, natural tech, and flow, with a distinct lack of oxygen due to the elevation.

The course sits at 1,900 meters, so let's hope the riders have done a block of altitude training to prepare - this course has popped plenty of them in the past, including Nino. Let's take a look around before we get going this week.


The up hill to the start finish.
The uphill to the start / finish.

Another long grinding climb.
Another long grinding climb.

open grass turn down to the tech zone.
open grass turn down to the tech zone.

Plenty of room to pass on this climb.
Plenty of room to pass on this climb.

Big blind roll in off the grass into fast flat turns.
Big blind roll in off the grass into fast flat turns.

Dusty flat corners lead into the bermed flow section.
Dusty flat corners lead into the bermed flow section.

The back side of the track has a bit of bike park feel. Nice berms and a couple doubles just to keep it interesting.
The back side of the track has a bit of bike park feel. Nice berms and a couple of doubles just to keep it interesting.

Those root carpets will take their toll on the body after a few laps.
Those root carpets will take their toll on the body after a few laps.

The crux of the course. It will be the most practiced and most lethal if it rains.
The crux of the course. It will be the most practiced and most lethal if it rains.

Things get steep again after this straight.
Things get steep again after this straight.

The common line is low. That high line gets a little messy.
The common line is low. That high line gets a little messy.

Chunks of stone will batter wheels.
Chunks of stone will batter wheels.

There is a high line burning in. If riders can get on it it will be fast. It s also a good place to make a pass.
There is a high line burning in. If riders can get on it, it will be fast. It's also a good place to make a pass.

A line and the B Line.
A line and the B Line.

Plenty of rocks and roots to go around.
Plenty of rocks and roots to go around.

This corner has taken out plenty of riders come race time.
This corner has taken out plenty of riders come race time.

There is a b line up high but it will coast time and position.
There is a B line up high but it will coast time and position.

No room to pass just chunky root filled goodness.
No room to pass, just chunky, root filled goodness.

It seems like the end is far away because it is.
It seems like the end is far away because it is.

The longest climb. It s punishing after a fast loose descent.
The longest climb. It's punishing after a fast loose descent.

High speed flow to keep it fun.
High-speed flow to keep it fun.

Who doesn t like racing past a bouncy house
Who doesn't like racing past a bouncy house?



11 Comments

  • + 9
 Don’t think Nino has a win yet this season
  • + 4
 agreed was just about to say that fluekinger won in germany
  • + 1
 Right and no mention of the women’s field.
  • + 1
 Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå
Amazing win as the maturest rider in the woman category.
  • + 3
 Oh, boy, is this great!
  • + 0
 Thats almost 5% less Oxygen, take 5% off the performance and you go from first to last. Any of them who have been training at altitude will have an advantage.
  • + 1
 I do most of my riding at that altitude, it's not that bad.
  • + 1
 Always room for more elevation ;-)
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