Slightly unbelievably (where did the year go?) we are at the final round of the UCI DH World Cup. It’s been one pretty exciting season so far this year, and it’s boiled down to the final round of the here in Leogang, Austria. It’s nail-biting stuff; will Rachel Atherton take the title?
Not only are we to see Downhill action from this weekend, we also see 4X join back up with the World Cup circuit, in the form of the 4X World Champs.
Before we start let’s do the basics; where exactly is Leogang?
Earlier this week there was a little bit of worry about the weather, after DH racer Troy Brosnan posted up this photo.
Things do seem to have improved but it’s definitely still going to be cold! Here’s the weather for the weekend.
The DH course itself looks like pretty fun track with a little bit of everything, from fast flat out jump sections to tight technical steep sections, which will definitely be a test to the best all round rider. To get a feeling for what the riders are facing, have a gander at this track walk from the guys over at DirtTV.
Here’s a breakdown of what’s happening when, aka the World Cup Schedule.
Why you should watch on Sunday
Although there’ll be much excitement around the mens race – it’s down to the wire with only 17 points separating Stevie Smith and Gee Atherton – we’re way more interested in the women’s race, which holds a story of it’s own.
Rachel Atherton has dominated the whole of the year, taking the win at every round except one, at Mont Sainte Anne. As a result I assumed she must have won the series by now but no – there’s still everything to play for for the other riders. That said, she has got a healthy lead over her closest competitor, Emmeline Ragot, currently ranking second in the series, of 160 points. At the moment it seems like Rachel is unbeatable but we’ll have to wait and see what Sunday brings.
Another woman who still has the potential to take the overall win here today is Manon Carpenter who is 205 points back in third place overall. Manon has been riding incredibly well this season; kicking things off with a 2nd place spot at Fort William, she’s comfortably occupied this position for the majority of World Cup races. A good performance here could see her shift up a notch to an overall second…or maybe a win?!
You’ll be able to catch all the action over on RedBull, with their live feed of the event that kicks off at 2.15pm UK time, which you can check out here.
Over in the world of 4X, Katy Curd has been dominating the top spot on the 4X Pro-Tour all season, bar the last round, so goes into the World Championships looking incredibly strong. 4X always makes for dramatic viewing, and did I mention that Katy’s also the British National 4X Champion? Grab a comfy seat and plan your viewing to include these races!
Watch the 4X World Champs on Red Bull TV live on Saturday 21st; it’s going to be exciting viewing!
So who do you think is going to take the win this weekend?