This weekend marks the final round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, as the cross-country, downhill and 4X titles are decided and the victors crowned at Val di Sole, Italy.
It’s been a climatic season. More ups and downs than you can shake a stick at as the competitors have travelled to three continents over five months.
There’s been little let up in the relentless pace, with Jaroslav Kulhavy and Aaron Gwin both winning the XC and DH titles respectively with one clear round still remaining.
While it might look on paper like they’ve had an easy time and the racing hasn’t been very exciting, but it’s actually been the complete opposite. It’s been one of the best seasons so far. While those two have dominated, they’ve been pushed every inch of the way by their main contenders. The racing for the second and third podium spots has been frantic, with winners and losers at every round.
Still to be decided is the winner in the women’s cross-country race. With Catharine Pendrel winning last week in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic, the World Cup leader going into this last round, Julie Bresset, sees her lead reduced significantly.
In the men’s Jaroslav Kulhavy has dominated, nearly completing a clean sweep of wins in every round. Interestingly, showing good consistency, Nino Scurter has secured the second spot in the series already. However, third, fourth and fifth have yet to be decided, so there’s still much to play for.
With Aaron Gwin gaining enough points to take the overall title last weekend too (the first American to do so in over a decade; Shaun Palmer was the last) it’s a battle for second place between Greg Minnaar and Gee Atherton.
Tracey Moseley has a 150-point lead over Floriane Pugin, but in racing anything can happen so Tracey will be crossing her fingers for a smooth and clean run well up in the points. A win here would be the dream scenario to complete the World Cup win, and also set her up nicely for the World Champs which are next on the calendar.
The Dirt Mag guys are out at Val di Sole, here’s a nice video from the practice sessions.