UCI Mountain Bike World Series heads to the States for some high stakes racing


UCI Mountain Bike World Series heads to the States for some high stakes racing

6 months ago

The penultimate round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Series kicks off this week in Snowshoe, West Virginia, in the USA.

This iconic venue will host both the UCI Cross-country and Downhill World Cups, as well as the final round of the UCI Marathon World Cup. The marathon riders will be first to leave the start line this week, when they take on an epic 100km loop for the last time this season.

Vera Looser from Namibia and Héctor Leonardo Páez León of Colombia took the wins at the last round of the competition in France a fortnight ago, and will start today’s race as the clear favourites to do the same again. However, they’ll face competition from the current series leaders in the form of Italian Fabian Rabensteiner (Wilier-Pirelli Factory Team MX) and Lejla Njemčević of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

On Friday it’s the turn of the cross-country short track athletes, who will be lining up in order to try and get the best possible start position for Sunday's cross-country Olympic race.In the women’s race Puck Pieterse (Alpecin-Deceuninck) leads the rankings with a points lead of 321 - meaning that a win on Sunday could see her clinch the overall title before the last race of the season. However, trying their hardest to stop her will be Austrian Mona Mitterwallner (Cannondale Factory Racing) and France’s Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (Ineos Grenadiers), who sit second and third in the rankings respectively.

The race could not be tighter in the men’s category, with all still to play for in the race for the overall series title. Nino Schurter (Scott-SRAM MTB Racing Team) leads the standings by just 98 points ahead of closest rival and fellow Swiss Mathias Flückiger (Thömus Maxon), whilst third placed Luca Schwarzbauer (Canyon CLLCTV), of Germany, is just a further 27 points back in third. With the series title on the line, expect some of the fiercest racing of the year this weekend.

In the UCI Downhill World Cup it’s a similar story, as riders prepare to face the penultimate challenge of the year and shore up their points in the race for the overall title. Reigning UCI World Champion from Austria, Valentina Höll (Rockshox Trek Race Team), is on course to do the double - she’s over 400 points ahead of second placed Nina Hoffmann (Santa Cruz Syndicate), of Germany, and will start Sunday’s race as the clear favourite. Hoffmann’s second place finish is far from assured though - with last round’s winner Marine Cabirou (Scott Downhill Factory) just 90 points back.

The points race is even tighter in the men’s competition, with just 149 points separating the top four men. Loïc Bruni (Specialized Gravity) currently leads the standings, but with Canadian Jackson Goldstone (Santa Cruz Syndicate) less than 60 points back in second place, the French former UCI World Champion has work to do if he is to stay on top. Another Frenchman Loris Vergier (Trek Factory Racing Gravity) and Bruni’s Specialized teammate Finn Iles, of Canada, also represent a significant threat to his lead in third and fourth place respectively.

Full details about the UCI Mountain Bike World Series races in Snowshoe are available here.

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