Get access to everything we publish when you join VeloNews or Outside+.
With just two cross-country mountain bike World Cup events to shake things up before the Olympic selection period ends, the next two weekends of racing are not to miss.
On Friday, May 7, the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup season kicks off in Albstadt, Germany. The world’s strongest and fastest riders will take to the short track (XCC) on Friday and compete in the XCO race on Sunday. All of the action can be watched live or on demand on Red Bull TV.
For a quick refresher on the two events that will make up the weekend’s racing, check out this video primer.
The last World Cup in Albstadt kicked off the 2019 season. There, Kate Courtney debuted her rainbow stripes at Albstadt and then stole the show with wins in both the XCC and XCO events. On the men’s side, Dutch wunderkind Mathieu van der Poel nabbed the short track win to start things off and then narrowly missed victory on the XCO track to Swiss rider Mathias Flueckiger.
The race starts on the streets of the town of 44,000 and then heads up into the forest before it rolls back into town again on the straightaway to the start/finish line. Although Albstadt’s track is known for being less technical than other World Cup venues, what it lacks in difficult terrain it makes up for in high speeds. Close racing is guaranteed on the 4.2km circuit. Two long steep climbs dominate the elevation profile, and a good starting position is essential on the tight and narrow track.
The action begins with the women’s short track race on Friday, May 7 at 8:20 PST/11:20 EST/17:20 CET. On Sunday, May 9 the elite women kick off the day’s XCO racing at 02:00 PST/05:00 EST/11:00 CET with the men following three hours later.