It’s time to get rid of the snow and make space for those 29ers! Or for 27.5 inch wheels? Who knows. At long last, there is only one topic on the minds of all mountain bike fans around the world: The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano! The World Cup will be in Lenzerheide for the third time from July 7-9. The preparations for this huge event are in full swing and in order to beat the tenacious winter in the Swiss Alps, the team has come up with some creative methods so that the world’s best athletes and fans will be able to enjoy the best World Cup race action!
Join the action – Get hold of your “Early Bird Ticket”
The surprising results in Lourdes caused by the weather, left big names still in desperate need for World Cup points. It seems like we are in for the most exciting season ever; fuelled by a heated back-and-forth on the wheel topic! The fifth chapter of the 2017 World Cup saga will be set in Lenzerheide and simultaneously will be the final “dress rehearsal” for the 2018 World Championships. Fans can still get their Early Bird Ticket for the race weekend until May 31. If you get hold of your ticket by the end of the month you receive a 25% discount off the original price and can look forward to getting up close to the track, when the downhill World Champions Danny Hart and Rachel Atherton, as well as cross-country Olympic gold medalists Nino Schurter and Jenny Rissveds, get up to speed to compete for vital World Cup points.
On 29ers? – The world’s best downhill athletes return
These were the big names that dominated the elite races last year. Danny Hart, the 2011 and 2016 World Champion, had to wait until hitting the STRAIGHTline in Lenzerheide last year in order to grab his elusive first ever World Cup win. The Brit was able to beat Aaron Gwin by the blink of an eye; only 0.096 seconds separated both contenders. After the weather shook up the results for the top ten qualifiers at the first World Cup stop in Lourdes, we can expect the best male athletes to be even more eager and willing to take the risks to reach their ultimate goal. Rachel Atherton will also be returning to Switzerland – this time with an even bigger target on her back. The 29-year-old still seems unbeatable and has kept her record-breaking winning streak alive, which has now reached 14 consecutive wins. Last year Tahnée Seagrave already gave Atherton a run for her money on the STRAIGHTline. This year the pressure on the British World Champion will be increasing with each race, as her fellow Brits Seagrave and Manon Carpenter are in hot pursuit. Will Atherton be able to repeat her 2016 success? Another hot topic will surely also dominate the pits in Lenzerheide: Santa Cruz has set a heated wheel discussion and their 29ers in motion and the wheel size will certainly play a role due to the STRAIGHTlines’ gnarly root sections and unforgiving rock gardens.
Homecoming: Olympic gold medalist Nino Schurter is back
However, the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Lenzerheide is about more than just downhill: thousands of spectators will be heading to the Rothorn lift station to see the world’s best cross-country athletes compete. Last year the Swedish athlete Jenny Rissveds was able to beat the pack and celebrate her first ever World Cup win; only a few weeks before racing to gold at the Olympic Games and achieving another milestone in her still young career. Local hero Nino Schurter’s season also had a similar trajectory. The Swiss supporters went crazy, when Schurter lifted his bike up over his head triumphantly shortly after crossing the finish line. The win in Lenzerheide was also an omen for success; Schurter will also be returning to the Lenzerheide World Cup track as an Olympic gold medalist. We can all look forward to an action-packed weekend with high-speed racing and the world’s best athletes from July 7 – 9!