Video: A Quick Tour of the 2023 XC World Championships Course

Jul 8, 2023
by Ed Spratt  

bigquotesScottish rider Scotty Laughland takes you on a tour to discover the course of the Cross-country Olympic (XCO) race that will take place in the beautiful Glentress forest, as part of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships in Glasgow and across Scotland, from 3rd to 13th August 2023. UCI

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Member since Mar 16, 2017
2,855 articles

  • 39 0
 Mandatory features! 15 years ago there were probably only a handful a XC riders that could / would hit that stuff, now the whole field must....impressive, the sport has come a long way!
  • 10 0
 Yep, and just think how today's female riders are taking on features the tough guy legends of yesteryear never encountered.
  • 5 0
 i dont know i cant see them keeping it a mandatory jump
  • 4 0
 @patpatpat: agreed, no way the UCI let’s this stay. I think back to the start gate jump they neutered at Snowshoe 2019.
  • 1 0
 The last time the WCs were in the UK (in Dalby Forest), it revived technical sections in XC tracks.
Looks like they are trying to follow suit, although these look a lot more predictable in terms of grip than Dalby.
He mentioned a b-line for that gap, so it'll be fine.
  • 9 0
 Tailor made for Jolanda Neff.
  • 8 1
 Needs deep mud and slippery roots to properly represent mountain biking in the region,IMO.
  • 3 3
 In this video, lots of sections are perfectly sculpted and smoothed to make it look nice and flowy. I can imagine if it gets wet annd ridden by tons of riders, it will be a very different beast. Especially those artificial jumps and landings with those logs underneath. I don't know what they're expecting but it seems to me that a lot of material will flush through and people will indeed be riding those logs. Either that, or they're going to put in a lot of maintenance leading up to that race and the real challenge riding that track will start after the event.
  • 3 1
 @vinay: are you watching the same video as us? You see the colour of the ground? It's grey, that's because it's made with hardcore, you know, like a road is. Glentress is famous for 2 things: 1 is having more than 300k riders a years for the last decade, 2 for maintaining the trails by basically using a broom now and then to sweep away a puddle.
  • 1 0
 @browner: You mean to say it is so stable that it will just stay like that? Oh, I thought it was compacted but that it would still erode over time as water and riders run down it. But yeah, if it is that solid it will indeed stay like it is for a good while.
  • 1 0
 @browner: Yup Smile GT was fun a long time ago but its turned into a bit of a neglected relic full of families on e-bikes. Best pass it by and go to inners.
  • 9 2
 Downcountry course
  • 5 12
flag vinay (Jul 8, 2023 at 10:15) (Below Threshold)
 Ehrm, doesn't that inherently make your statement untrue? I thought downcountry was defined in relation to XC. So you have XC and then DC would be the same bike, but with an inch more front travel, 0.2" wider tires, a 20mm shorter stem and a regular dropper seatpost (so with 175mm or more travel). But primarily in relation to what XC is. So if these are the XC world champs, this isn't DC. But yeah, we do need Mike Levy to help us out what it really is indeed. That said, I don't really care that much. Regardless of what it is, the track looks fun to ride.
  • 15 1
 @vinay: Ehrm acktually Geek
  • 5 0
 Course is looking sweet! Definitely worthy of world champs, especially once it gets a bit chewed in.
  • 2 0
 Would be nice to know how much of this will remain in place after the race, Glentress is an incredible place but was desperately in need of an update. Strong rumours are that many of the exciting parts of this course won't be left in place- would love to know if anyone can confirm? It's amazing to see this course being built, but it would be such a shame to see the money wasted on features that wont be kept afterwards.
  • 4 0
 Glentress has a tradition of taking good things away.
  • 2 0
 XC has come a long way. There's a lot of folks who say gravel biking is just 90s XC mountainbiking with drop bars so it appears now that gravel and cyclocross have found their place they're trying to modernise XC, if it keeps going this way I can foresee Trail bikes being pulled into the XC category and eventually the normal XC bikes phasing out 100mm travel models in favour of 120/140mm frames.
  • 4 1
 I hope they put a bridge across the gap for practice, and the remove it for the race. That should spice things up. Hold on, I like PFP, so don't do that, please.
  • 2 0
 HONESTLY id trade teh jumps + super buff surface for just a rough ass cattle stomped chatterfest. other than the endurocross stuff, the course is a speedway. you can do it with 2.0 slicks.
  • 1 0
 Hey...we are all feature seekers, that bunch that takes our one foot long front and rear sus plus dropper station wagons over terrain we claim is new era macho, never before existed. Truth is we now have a generation of riders who have never felt the trail, it rides like smooth sidewalk given our battleship choices. Hey ebike racing too...even more suspension!
  • 1 0
 I find that some jumps, gaps or stone constructions don't have much to do with XC. I understand that spectacularization is increasingly being sought but in my opinion XC should be more focused on natural routes, technical climbs and descents with roots and stones. All very natural.
  • 1 0
 Rumor has it the lap times are in the low 10 minutes - which will be a challenge to have 100 riders at once on the course. Not to mention the high number of laps required.
  • 2 0
 This is the norm for modern XC. For elite men: Val di Sole WC was sub 13 minutes, Leogang WC was sub 12 minutes, Lenzerheide WC was 12, Nove Mesto WC was sub 11.
  • 4 0
 That actually looks fun.
  • 2 0
 Isn't the world champs like a month away?
  • 2 0
 @danielfloyd Yep,

August 4-5: UCI Mountain Bike World Championships – Fort William, Scotland (DH)
August 9-12: UCI Mountain Bike World Championships – Glentress Forest, Scotland (XCO/XCC)
  • 3 5
 After the majority of racers session enough to ride the A lines on race day, the features won't be selective. So that leaves the long road climbs to be the areas where the race selections will be made. So the riders with the best watt/kg and not the best skills (only just enough skills) will be the winners.
Unless it rains of course, then maybe Nino has a chance (despite some critics saying he can't race in the rain)
  • 9 0
 The A line features will be "do or not do" and not selective, so that everyone riding them will be going the same speed and no opportunities for passing. Whereas, roots, rocks and other natural features that don't have huge consequences for failure, but where riders that flub lose momentum, would give riders with more skills more of an advantage
  • 3 1
 You seem to have confused critics with facts.

Nino, despite almost definitely being the best XC racer of all time, has never won a World Cup or World Championship in wet conditions.

This makes total sense if you think about it as a tactic. For example in August, why would he take risks which could result in injury and time off training for the Olympics next year? He already has ten World Championships, but only one Olympic gold medal.
  • 2 0
 @dougfs: Yeah, he's even admitted he doesn't like wet conditions.....Leogang in 2020 was wet, he didn't do too well....
  • 5 3
 Hope van der Poel doesn’t show up
  • 2 7
flag generictrailrider (Jul 8, 2023 at 17:56) (Below Threshold)
 He’s busy racing that little race called the TDF so he won’t be there.
  • 10 0
 @generictrailrider: I guess I forgot the TdF ran for close to 6 weeks.
  • 13 0
 @generictrailrider: The TDF finishes 3 weeks before the XC Worlds... He's already said that he plans to be there... Tom Pidcock will be there as well.
  • 1 0
 @mfoga: Why do you hope he doesn't show up?
  • 2 0
 @billreilly: Yes, he's doing the road race, and as he's there, he'll also do the XCO race, but will start way back....
  • 2 0
 @Starch-Anton: Both MvdP and Pidcock are capable of starting in the last row and joining the lead group within 3 or 4 laps... I wouldn't write either of them off.
  • 2 4
 @vinay: there are drops with no bridges, he seems to have issues with such things
  • 3 2
 @mfoga: He only had a problem when he expected a ramp to be there that wasn't there... That was not a problem with his skill, it was just a communication mistake.

I guarantee you that he's a much better bike handler than anybody here on PB.
  • 1 1
 @billreilly: yet somehow no one else had that issue?
  • 2 0
 @mfoga: Because they all knew about it... For some reason MvdP wasn't told about it by the Dutch team, like I said it was a communication mistake that shouldn't have happened.
  • 1 0
 Cross country course preview on a trail bike, that's a new thing for sure!
  • 3 3
 a fellow XTR Race lever enjoyer i see
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