WORLD CUP UPDATE, WITH OLYMPIC NEWS, TOO

News about this weekend's World Cup XC and DH races, plus the Olympics

While Tom Pidcock, the man who won the last two World Cup XCO events, is racing in the Tour de France right now, the rest of the mountain bike world is focused on the World Cup event coming up in France this weekend. The  UCI Downhill and Cross-country categories will both be contested this weekend.

It will be the last XCO (Cross-country Olympic) race before the Olympic mountain bike races, which take place on July 28th for the women and July 29th for the men. Here’s the latest press release about the World Cup Series, or as they like to call it, The WHOOP UCI Mountain Bike World Series. (By the way, Pidcock is not looking like much of a threat in the Tour de France so far. He was in the top ten of the GC rankings a few days ago, but he’s dropped a lot farther down since then. Mathieu van der Poel (who came in second in the UCI’s XCO rankings in 2019, right behind Nino Schurter) doesn’t appear to be doing very well in this year’s Tour de France either, but Pidcock and Van der Poel still have about two and a half more weeks before the end of this year’s Tour de France, so maybe one or both of them can turn things around.  Right now neither of them look like they have much of a shot at making the podium in the Tour de France. However, some of the top pundits in cycling said in the past that they expect both Pidcock and Van der Poel to someday score multiple wins of the Tour de France by the time they both retire, since they both appear to be two of the greatest road racers in history, so we can’t rule out the possibility that they’ll both do better in the remaining days of the Tour.

In the meantime, here’s the info on the World Cup racing this weekend:

2024 WHOOP UCI MOUNTAIN BIKE WORLD SERIES | LES GETS, HAUTE-SAVOIE
WHEN IS IT? WHO IS RIDING? 
HOW TO FOLLOW THE ACTION?
As the Olympics draws ever nearer, the WHOOP UCI Mountain Bike World Series continues its Tour of the French Alps this weekend, with another riveting round of racing action from the Haute-Savoie region. It’s only a short commute north from last weekend’s stop in Megève and Combloux to Les Gets, where the Endurance and Gravity stars will do battle once again.

We look at everything you need to know about the Haute-Savoie, Les Gets round of the WHOOP UCI Mountain Bike World Series races, including when the UCI Cross-Country Short Track (XCC), Cross-Country Olympic (XCO) and Downhill (DHI) Worlds Cups are scheduled to take place, who is racing and how to follow the action.

WHEN?

The 2024 WHOOP UCI Mountain Bike World Series round in Les Gets (Haute-Savoie, France) starts with the Women Elite Downhill qualification at 12:00 (UTC+2) on Friday, July 5 and concludes with the Men U23 UCI Cross Country Olympic at 15:30 (UTC+2) on Sunday, July 7.

Below are the key timings for race weekend. All times are UTC+2 (EST+6/BST+1/CEST):

Friday, July 5

  • 12:00 – UCI Downhill World Cup Qualification | Women Elite
  • 12:30 – UCI Downhill World Cup Qualification | Men Elite
  • 14:00 – UCI Downhill World Cup Qualification | Women Junior
  • 14:15 – UCI Downhill World Cup Qualification | Men Junior
  • 15:00 – UCI Downhill World Cup Semi Final | Women Elite
  • 15:30 – UCI Downhill World Cup Semi Final | Men Elite
  • 16:45 – UCI Cross-country Short Track World Cup – U23 Women
  • 17:20 – UCI Cross-country Short Track World Cup – U23 Men
  • 18:00 – UCI Cross-country Short Track World Cup – Women Elite
  • 18:35 – UCI Cross-country Short Track World Cup – Men Elite


Saturday, 
July 6

  • 11:30 – UCI Downhill World Cup Final | Women Junior
  • 12:00 – UCI Downhill World Cup Final | Men Junior
  • 13:15 – UCI Downhill World Cup Final | Women Elite
  • 14:00 – UCI Downhill World Cup Final | Men Elite

Sunday, July 7

  • 09:00 – UCI Cross-Country Olympic World Cup | Women U23
  • 11:00 – UCI Cross-Country Olympic World Cup | Women Elite
  • 13:30 – UCI Cross-Country Olympic World Cup | Men Elite
  • 15:30 – UCI Cross-Country Olympic World Cup | Men U23

WHERE CAN I WATCH?

You can watch all the action from the WHOOP UCI Mountain Bike World Series round in Les Gets (Haute-Savoie) wherever you are in the world.

There will be live timings on the official WHOOP UCI Mountain Bike World Series website and highlights on the WHOOP UCI Mountain Bike World Series’ Instagram and Facebook channels, with top stories from the race weekend to be published on the YouTube channel.

Both the men’s and women’s UCI Cross-country Olympic World Cup U23 races will be broadcast live on the WHOOP UCI Mountain Bike World Series YouTube channel, but for all other races, tune in to one of the below channels or streaming services:

EUROPE:

  • Austria: discovery+
  • Belgium: HBO Max, Eurosport 1
  • Czech Republic: Max, Eurosport 1 and Czech TV (only XCO)
  • Denmark: Max, Eurosport 1
  • France: Max, Eurosport 1 and La Chaine L’Équipe
  • Germany: discovery+, Eurosport 1
  • Hungary: Max, Eurosport 1
  • Ireland: discovery+, Eurosport 1
  • Italy: discovery+, Eurosport 1
  • Netherlands: HBO Max, Eurosport 1
  • Norway: Max, Eurosport 1
  • Poland: Max, Eurosport 1
  • Portugal: Max, Eurosport 1
  • Romania: Max, Eurosport 1
  • Slovenia: Max, Eurosport 1
  • Spain: Max, Eurosport 1
  • Sweden: Max, Eurosport 1
  • Switzerland: Eurosport player and SRF
  • UK: discovery+, Eurosport 1

 

CENTRAL/SOUTH AMERICA:

Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela: Staylive

Puerto Rico: Max

AFRICAStaylive

 NORTH AMERICA:

USA: Max

Canada: Flosports

ASIA:

Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Palau, Philippines, Russia, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan : Staylive

China: Zhibo.tv

Indonesia, Macao, Malaysia, Mongolia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand: Eurosport

OCEANIA:

Australia: Stan Sport

New Zealand: Staylive

REST OF THE WORLD: Staylive

U23 UCI CROSS-COUNTRY OLYMPIC RACES: YouTube

LIVE TIMING: live.ucimtbworldseries.com

RIDERS TO WATCH

Women Elite UCI Downhill World Cup leader and UCI World Champion Valentina Höll (YT Mob) didn’t have it all her way last time out in Val di Sole, Trentino (Italy) but she’ll be back on the slopes looking to show she remains the rider to beat.

Another strong performance from her closest rival and the most recent UCI World Cup podium-topper Tahnee Seagrave (Canyon CLLCTV FMD) could put another decent-sized dent in the 229 points that currently separate them. Marine Cabirou (Scott Downhill Factory) is breathing down Seagrave’s neck in third place – she won here in Les Gets last year so has reason to believe she can go higher.

The Men Elite UCI Downhill World Cup winner in Val di Sole last time out was Amaury Pierron (Commencal/Muc-Off by Riding Addiction). Pierron broke the C5 vertebrae in his neck a year ago, and the win, he wrote on Instagram, weighed “1 ton of doubts, 10 ton of pain [and] 100 ton of work.” No-one expects him to stop there.

Despite his falling to a (relatively) lowly 5th place in Val di Sole, Pierron and the rest will still surely see Loïc Bruni (Specialized Gravity) as the man to beat on the fearsome Alpine descents with his team-mate and closest rival Finn Iles hungriest of all to take a bite out of Bruni’s massive overall lead. Benoît Coulanges (Dorval AM Commencal) has struggled to get going this season, but his victory last year tells us he knows and likes this course and must be seen to represent a threat.

The Les Gets cross-country fields will be without both Men Elite and Women Elite UCI World Champions, Pauline Ferrand-Prévot and Tom Pidcock (both Ineos Grenadiers). That opens the door in the Olympic (XCO) races for rivals to take a confidence-boosting win ahead of Paris 2024 – now just three weekends away.

The male name on everyone’s lips will be that of veteran Nino Schurter (Scott-Sram MTB Racing Team.) Schurter powered to victory in Val di Sole and came in a creditable 4th place in Crans-Montana (Valais, Switzerland) – despite crashing several times on a single lap.

Right behind the Swiss great in Val di Sole and in the same relative position in the overall standings is South Africa’s Olympic hope Alan Hatherly (Cannondale Factory Racing.) If Hatherly arrives in Les Gets at the peak of his strength and confidence he could see himself on the top step of the podium for the first time.

No stranger to that same position – albeit on the shorter distance XCC course – are Victor Koretzky (Specialized Factory Racing) and Sam Gaze (Alpecin-Deceuninck). Both have taken two wins apiece in the short track, while XCC leader Koretzky hasn’t fared too badly over the longer XCO races either. Gaze seems to have lacked the endurance and has finished both the last two rounds in the 30s.

His Alpecin-Deceuninck team-mate Puck Pieterse has only been getting stronger throughout the season, clearly with the aim of hitting peak performance in time for Paris. Despite competing in just three out of five rounds of the UCI Cross-country World Cup, last year’s Les Gets winner finds herself in fourth place overall and hasn’t been off the podium in a single cross-country race.

The leaderboard is headed by Alessandra Keller (Thömus Maxon) who finished second in Val di Sole and has been similarly consistent through 2024. A first XCO win of the season could be just what the Swiss rider needs ahead of the Olympics.

In the absence of Haley Batten (Specialized Factory Racing) Keller will want to keep Loana Lecomte (Canyon CLLCTV XCO) in her sights. Lecomte found her form and her flow in Crans-Montana two weeks ago, and from one win so often comes another.

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