The World Cup returns this weekend with the final round at Windham in New York State, and marks the first time in five years that the US has hosted a round of the series.
Gee Atherton heads into the weekend with a mere 2 point lead over South African Greg Minnaar so the pressure will be on the Brit to produce a fast but clean run to be crowned World Cup winner. It’s going to be tense battle. There’s a total of 250 points on the cards for a win in both the qualifying and final race.
It could be an interesting battle on the slopes of the Windham course in the women’s DH race too, with three French women covered by just 95 points. Floriane Pugin is currently sitting in the hot seat with Sabrina Jonnier and Emmeline Ragot breathing down her neck – this is a battle we’ll be watching closely.
In XC the battle will between Julien Absalon and Nino Schurter, with 133 points separating them, with 250 points up for the winner. In the women’s title battle there’s 159 points between current first place Elisabeth Osl and Eva Lechner.
The Windham World Cup courses epitomize the legendary aspects of “east-coast” riding in the US. The cross-country course features the “Alpe d’Huez” climb, the downhill chute and countless tunnels and bridges including the Troll Bridge, the Rip Van Winkle Bridge and the “108” (108 feet or 32.9 meters long).
The fast, steep downhill course is an a blend of rocks, roots and occasional dirt that will challenge racers and thrill spectators. Finally, with some finishing touches from the internationally renowned designer Phil Saxen, the 4X course at Windham will rival some of the world’s best.