XCO World Cup Season Preview – first stop Brazil!

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This weekend the cross-country mountain bike season kicks off in Petrópolis, at the 2022 Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup – bringing Brazil back onto the international mountain bike radar six years after the Olympic Games.

How to watch the XC World Cup, Petrópolis, Brazil

All races are available on Red Bull TV.

  • Friday 8th April – 20:20 – Short Track Final
  • Sunday 10th April – 15:00 – Women’s XCO Final
  • Sunday 10th April – 18:15 Men’s XCO Final

Nice sociable hours there – plenty of time to get your own bike ride in before you settle down to watch the pros slug it out. There are some different times listed in different quarters however, so keep an eye on the Red Bull TV channel to be sure not to miss out.

Petrópolis is the hometown of local hero and cyclist Henrique Avancini, the first Brazilian mountain bike rider to ever win a UCI World title when he competed in the 2018 UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships. He will be looking for the win this weekend as he is joined on the starting line by the world’s best XCO mountain bike riders, including 2021 Overall Mercedes-Benz UCI World Cup winners Mathias Flückiger (SUI) and Loana Lecomte (FRA), World Champions Evie Richards (GBR) and Nino Schurter (SUI), Olympic Gold medalist Jolanda Neff (SUI), as well as French XCO legend Pauline Ferrand-Prévot.

Henrique Avancini – Credit : Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool

Avancini said: “It’s a chance to show the world my hometown and the MTB Culture that my people developed. It’s a chance to bring good entertainment and action to my town, a very special place to me.”  

Alongside Avancini most of the international superstar athletes have already arrived in Brazil to adapt to the time difference and acclimatize to the subtropical conditions. Will the unique conditions give Avancini the edge over the other competitors?

Superstar seasoned cyclist Pauline Ferrand-Prévot said: “I’m happy to come to Brazil for the second time in my career. I love the Brazilian public. The people are really kind and welcoming. I’m looking forward to Friday and Sunday to race and get to know the Brazilian bike fans a little bit more.”   

Loana Lecomte performs at UCI XCO in Nove Mesto. Photo: Red Bull Content Pool.

Fellow rider Loana Lecomte said of the new stop: “I am happy to start the World Cup season in Brazil. Before I got on the plane, I saw pictures of the circuit on social media and it made me really want to ride. Even though I won the overall World Cup last year, the counters are back to zero. I don’t have a specific goal for this first race, the season is long.

Mathias Flückiger, who will also join the start line adds: “Especially in Brazil and South America, mountain bike has certainly grown strongly. You can hear a huge resonance from there and that is cool. I still remember how the Olympics were in Rio. The fans are very excited. That makes me really happy.”

As the race gets underway this weekend, questions that will be on everyone’s minds include:

  1. Will the young guns Loana Lecomte and Evie Richards continue to fly high and dominate like they did in 2021?
  2. How are seasoned athletes Pauline Ferrand-Prévot and Jolanda Neff going to reply to the talented young riders coming through the competition?
  3. Who is going to stand out in a very tight men’s competition? Ones to watch include defending overall World Cup winner Mathias Flückiger (SUI), World Cup winners Victor Koretzky, Henrique Avancini and Christopher Blevins and legend Nino Schurter.
  4. Will Nino Schurter become the sole record holder for the most single World Cup wins?
  5. Can we assume that Tom Pidcock will be otherwise occupied with the Spring Classics?
  6. Will Isla Short’s last minute mechanic panic affect her race?

On this last point, Isla Short – by choice, with her own sponsored support structure rather than a race team – had a lat minute issue with her mechanic – they had covid. Following a shout out, she’s sourced a replacement mechanic and will be heading over to Brazil hoping she’s shaken off a recent lurgy. But no pressure on that mechanic… How would you feel about turning up on the other side of the world to fettle a bike for someone without any practice time?!

The start lists will be published here, as well as the results and timings after the races.

The 2022 Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup calendar:

• 26-27 March: (DHI) Lourdes, France
• 8-10 April : (XCO/XCC) Petrópolis, Brazil
• 6-8 May : (XCO/XCC) Albstadt, Germany
• 13-15 May : (XCO/XCC) Nové Město na Moravě, Czech Republic
• 21-22 May : (DHI) Fort William, Great Britain
• 10-12 June : (XCO/XCC/DHI) Leogang, Austria
• 8-10 July : (XCO/XCC/DHI) Lenzerheide, Switzerland
• 15-17 July : (XCO/XCC/DHI) Vallnord, Andorra
• 29-31July : (XCO/XCC/DHI) Snowshoe, USA
• 5-7 August : (XCO/XCC/DHI) Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada
• 24-28 August : UCI MTB World Championships – Les Gets, France
• 2-4 September : (/XCO/XCC/DHI) Val di Sole, Italy

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Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • XCO World Cup Season Preview – first stop Brazil!
  • Premier Icon wimpsworth
    Full Member

    I would like to see a UK stop on the XC circuit.

    Premier Icon pmurden
    Full Member

    That new track in Brazil looks awesome and I think this year is going to be good for XC fans!

    Premier Icon danieljohnreynolds
    Full Member

    And even younger young gun Mona Mitterwallner from Austria coming up to elite who’s only 20 could really upset the established young guns – she did a Nino and won every U23 world cup race last year and then went out and won the elite marathon world cup … another Loana?

    Premier Icon ayjaydoubleyou
    Free Member

    I would like to see a UK stop on the XC circuit.

    I’ve always argued on this that the UCI dont like revisiting countries. And Fort William will not give up the downhill. So a XCO race will need to be in Fort William on the same weekend. Do they have or can they make a suitable course?

    Although this year champs is in Les Gets and we have already had a DH race in Lourdes, so that kind of wrecks my theory.

    Premier Icon ayjaydoubleyou
    Free Member

    And even younger young gun Mona Mitterwallner from Austria coming up to elite who’s only 20 could really upset the established young guns – she did a Nino and won every U23 world cup race last year and then went out and won the elite marathon world cup … another Loana?

    they both seem like similar riders – small and lightweight and seem to like to ride to their own constant effort in a solo bid for the win.

    Does U23 (or elite marathon) give Mona any senior ranking points or is she starting from the back of the grid? Less of a handicap for the women than it was for Pidcock last year though.

    Premier Icon snotrag
    Full Member

    Excellent course preview here from the Pivot guys – this looks so much fun to ride!

    Premier Icon danieljohnreynolds
    Full Member

    Interview on pinkbike from her a wihle back I think said yes it does – she starts on the 2nd row for the XCC and then that will determine where she starts on the Sunday.

    Premier Icon ac282
    Full Member

    So a XCO race will need to be in Fort William on the same weekend. Do they have or can they make a suitable course?

    The worlds were held there in 2007. I’m sure updating the XC course there wouldn’t be impossible.

    The problem would be money. Would the XC bring in enough extra revenue to justify adding it?

    Premier Icon wipperman95
    Free Member

    Agree about having a UK XC round; we have a World Champion, and the Olympic Champion; if we can’t manage to get a round, then we’re doing something wrong.

    I think we’ll see Lecomte v Mitterwallner, which is a battle to enjoy; both very similar attributes, who seem to effortlessly ride up climbs away from everybody.
    Of course the established riders will have something to say; Neff, PFP, Richards, Frei & Stigger. Will Courtney make a ‘come back’ this year. It’s a competitive field.

    In the men’s it looks quite open; Schurter, Fluckinger, Andreassen, Avancini & Blevins are all XCO race winners. Will Sarrou ever manage to win one, despite being a former World Champion? Can Anton Cooper win one, after coming close, or is Dascalu Trek’s best rider?

    Finally, there’ll be 6 XCO World Cup race winners missing from the field; 3 of which are from last season. MvdP, Koreztky & Pidcock will be racing Amstel Gold. When we see them back is anyone’s guess. Pidcock is likely to only race the Worlds in Les Gets, MvdP hasn’t announced any plans for the MTB. Koreztky may well return for the first European rounds.

    Premier Icon dazzydw
    Free Member

    Short track coverage was the worst TV camerawork I’ve seen in a long time. Spectators covering the action, blurry out of focus views, no coverage of the gnarly bits. Awful.

    Premier Icon kuco
    Free Member

    Both women’s and men’s races were good. Absolute great finish to the men’s race.

    Premier Icon wipperman95
    Free Member

    I always wonder that GCN give the big road races preview shows, yet GMBN don’t do the same for the World Cup MTB races.

    Premier Icon Simon
    Full Member

    I always wonder that GCN give the big road races preview shows, yet GMBN don’t do the same for the World Cup MTB races.

    Because they have broadcast rights for the former and not the latter? May all change next year when the MTB rights move to Discovery (GCN’s parent company).

    Premier Icon ayjaydoubleyou
    Free Member

    Agreed, camera work awful. Didn’t allow for the crowds standing trackside, and seemed to miss the best bits of the track.
    Terrible editing too. Don’t want to come across as bloodthirsty or wanting drama and injury, but two crashes of high profile riders, and we got to see… them picking their bike up. On sections of course that did have camera coverage. No replay.

    Riders made it a good race, but at times it was about as fun as dot watching or spectating a zwift race.

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)

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