The final UCI cross-country, downhill, and short track World Cup races will be held in Snowshoe, West Virginia beginning Friday, September 18, to wrap up the season, and Singletracks will be there covering the race. Here’s the who, what, when, and how for all the upcoming action.
There’s a decent chance for rain Friday afternoon which could hit during the short track race, and again on Saturday which will likely be humid with perhaps a stray thunderstorms. The weather forecast for Sunday looks fairly dry, though it’s possible the course could be damp depending on how much rain falls Friday and Saturday.
|Women’s short track (XCC)||Friday, Sep. 18||5:30p||Watch live|
|Men’s short track (XCC)||Friday, Sep. 18||6:15p||Watch live|
|Men’s juniors downhill (DHI)||Saturday, Sep. 19||9:45a|
|Women’s juniors downhill (DHI)||Saturday, Sep 19||10:30a|
|Women’s elite downhill (DHI)||Saturday, Sep 19||12:30p||Watch live|
|Men’s elite downhill (DHI)||Saturday, Sep 19||1:30p||Watch live|
|Women’s U23 cross country (XCO)||Sunday, Sep 20||8:30a|
|Men’s U23 cross country (XCO)||Sunday, Sep 20||10:15a|
|Women’s elite cross country (XCO)||Sunday, Sep 20||12:00p||Watch live|
|Men’s elite cross country (XCO)||Sunday, Sep 20||2:30p||Watch live|
Cross country (XCO)
The final World Cup cross country race of the 2021 season will likely see several familiar names battling for the top spot. Mathias Flückiger has been on the podium at every race this year, and has a commanding lead in overall points, so there’s a good chance he’ll dominate this weekend as well. Nino Schurter has had a strong late season, notching a first place win at World Champs and taking second at Lenzerheide earlier this month. Victor Koretzky and Ondřej Cink are strong podium contenders as well, hoping to keep their spot among the top 3 point getters this season.
In the women’s race, Evie Richards is on a hot streak with podium finishes in the last three races, including first-place wins at the World Champs and in Lenzerheide. A win at Snowshoe could push her into the top 3 overall for points this season. France’s Loana Lecomte took first place at the first four races of the season, giving her a commanding lead in the standings despite failing to reach the podium most recently at Lenzerheide. American Haley Batten could be looking to make a podium appearance on her home dirt this weekend, and with two podium finishes this year she has a good chance. It won’t be easy, however, with Jenny Rissveds and Pauline Ferrand-Prévot looking to hold onto their second and third place spots in the points standings. And don’t count out Olympic gold medalist Jolanda Neff, who is racing in Snowshoe this weekend as well.
This weekend’s downhill race is actually the second of a double-header, with the first race taking place yesterday, Wednesday, Sep 15. In the women’s race, Vali Höll finished in first place, an improvement over her third place finish at Lenzerheide, followed by Camille Balanche (+4.617s) and Marine Cabirou (+5.695s). Balanche finished third at the World Champs in Val di Sole last month, and with her second place finish yesterday, she’s likely looking to move up one more spot for the win. Cabirou won’t make it easy, however, as she’s hoping to prove herself after a sixth place finish at Lenzerheide despite standing on the podium at the World Champs just the week before. Keep an eye on Tahnée Seagrave as well; she had been in third in the points standing heading into the Snowshoe races, with Höll following closely behind.
For the men, last year’s champ Reece Wilson took first, Loic Bruni (+0.032) was second, and Loris Vergier (+.580s) was third in yesterday’s race at Snowshoe. With such close times, particularly on the men’s side, the competition will be intense for the final World Cup DH race of the season. Vergier and Bruni took first and second, respectively, at Lenzerheide two weeks ago, and will not give up the podium easily.
2021 DH World Champ Greg Minnaar crashed in training ahead of Wednesday’s final, and it’s unknown whether he’ll be racing on Saturday. According to his official Instagram, “Unfortunately, I hit a root that flung me funny and I ended up wrestling one of the locals 🌳 Gutted is an understatement, but stoked for @luca_shaw laying down a solid run. Let’s see what happens next….”
American favorite Aaron Gwin is in West Virginia but is sitting out the races this week as he continues to recover from injury. Via Instagram he says, “Really hoped I’d be ready to race but unfortunately I’m not quite there yet.”
Watch Loic Bruni’s DH course preview below.
And here is another Round 1 course preview, this time from Eliot Jackson.