We head out on track with Clif Pro World Champ Catharine Pendrel for this Albstadt Course preview. This track is a classic XC track with two long major climbs and terrain that is a quite a bit less rough than that which we encountered in Nove Mesto. The ground here is studded with fossil-rich sandstone that is mega slick in the wet. Take a ride with Catharine as we go over the key features of this course in chronological order.
Nove Mesto has several shorter rough climbs. Albstadt has two long grinding climbs.
These climbing sections will take their toll by lap 5.
The climbs here are fewer than Nove Mesto, but they are sure as hell longer.
Board walk over the fresh cut top section of the big climb.
After the initial climb into the amphitheater riders get a quick break.
Snappy descents with tight corners after the first part of the climb.
The high line here can make up a few places in heavy traffic.
New this year is this descent that breaks the first climb in two.
A wet spring is just enough to make the next little tech section a minor annoyance.
One last knuckle before the good times get going.
High line or low line, this little punch is a pain with a freshly wet set of tires.
The good times get rolling after the first big climb.
Line choice here is key. Wrong line and you'll likely dismount through the next section.
The right set up into the next descent keeps you out of the wall.
The wall will keep riders from blasting down a mini cliff, but it may also claim some skin.
A nice wet rut is forming in the corner after the walled chute.
Get off the brakes and drop into this chute and then keep the speed up through the rough stuff to follow.
A couple small drops and rough terrain on the exit from the two large chutes.
Freshly laid track for the climb up out of the descent is a bit soggy. Like riding on giant flypaper.
Get some singletrack flow on after the soggy climb.
Railing the flowy turns into the next drop.
This run out from this drop is much steeper than it seems.
Get off line on the drop and you might lose it on the roots and find yourself in the hay bails.
Straighten out the lines as much as you can.
The course is split into two halves connected by an open grass field with tech zones. To keep it fun a couple wall rides have been added.
It's one switchback turn after the other on the way up the hill.
Sandstone studs and little roots will keep the arms burning on those hardtails.
Wide set up into an s turn at the start of the second major descent.
Little kickers on the second descent keep things interesting.
Looks a touch like cobblestones to us.
The big descent on the second half of the course has a few high-speed rock steps. Well, it will be high speed if they remove the hay bail pinch at the start.
Out of the second descent and out into the field and back across the start.