Watch the XC live stream on Saturday, see Pidcock win a gold medal (we hope) and find out how to watch the e-bike and XC short course racing


The 2023 Cycling World Championships is well underway, and the XC racing starts today, with practice on the new XCO course at Glentress in the Tweed Valley. The event here lasts from 8-12 August, but there’s no chance of catching any of the pre-race practice unless it’s via YouTube vlogs.

Evie Richards is in great form, with five top 10 finishes in the 2023 World Cup season, and third in the XC short track at Leogang

Watch the Elite MTB XC on Saturday August 12

You can watch the live racing though, tune in to watch the women’s event from 11:15-13:35 via the BBC Red Button, BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website and app. The racing starts at 11.30. There’ll be a lot more people streaming this than the downhill at Fort William last weekend though, so don’t wait until 11.30 on the dot to click the link, or you’ll miss the start. And if you’re not in the UK, make sure you know how to watch for free with a VPN from anywhere.

The men’s racing is suspiciously absent from the main BBC timetable, but it does seem like BBC Scotland will be covering “Live coverage from the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships” from 15.30. We’re assuming this means the men’s Elite MTB XC as the start time correlates with the UCI schedule, but bizarrely there’s no reference to the actual racing on offer.

If this doesn’t work and the men’s Elite MTB XC has disappeared behind a paywall you’re going to need to take out a GCN+ subscription.  The cheapest sub will cost you £6.99 for a single month, meaning you could just stump up the cash and then cancel it afterwards. Pay for a year and it’s £39.99, which is cheaper over the 12 month period than paying month on month, and makes sense if you’re interested in the rest of GCN+’s cycling coverage.

Kate Courtney at the 2023 MTB XCO World Championships in Glentress

Some of the sections on the new XCO course luck full legit. Here’s Kate Courtney sending one of the gaps on her Scott Spark RC

Watch for free

What you can 100% watch for free and on the Beeb though, is the XC Team Relay and E-mtb, which both take place on Wednesday August 9. Coverage of the XC relay starts at 12:15-14:35, press the red button your telly, hit up iPlayer, or find the links through the BBC Sport website and app.

It’s a cool event because individual team members complete single laps of the course, before handing it on to their compatriot. This means is much more about the strength and depth of a country’s team rather than a standout star.

The E-mountain bike racing runs 15:00-18:00, via the BBC Red Button, BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website and app too. It’s not to be missed either, if you’re interested in the future direction of the sport – watch carefully and you’ll see the latest tech and bikes, even before they’ve been released.

Watch the MTB XCO World Championships for free anywhere in the world

If you’re away from home for the 2023 Cycling World Championships, you might have a problem accessing your regular streaming service because of geo-blocking restrictions. Thankfully, there’s an easy solution.

If you’re not in the country for the Cycling World Championship, live streaming the events is still an option – all you have to do is download and install a VPN and use a location inside the United Kingdom to watch the broadcast live as if you were back home.

Setting up a VPN is simple – just download, install, open the app and select your location.

Try out Express VPN for its speed, security and simplicity to use. It is also compatible with a range of devices and streaming services (e.g. Amazon Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Xbox, PS4, etc.), giving you the option to watch wherever you want.

A VPN is a piece of software which offers both online privacy and ability to change your IP address, meaning that you can access on-demand content or live TV like you would back at home while in another country. There are other great options out there, of course, and plenty of free VPNs but our sister site TechRadar recommends the paid-for ExpressVPN, which it consistently rates as the best VPN provider.

There are other great options out there, of course, but Express VPN gives you the added benefit of a 30-day money back guarantee and three months free with a yearly plan.

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World Champion XC racer Evie Richards

Evie Richards is a contender for the ’23 XC World Champion

Watch the Short Track finals on Thursday, August 10

One of the most exciting mountain bike events on show is the XC short track, watch it 17:30-19:45 on the BBC Red Button service, BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website and app. Short track is a great watch because it uses a just a chunk of the XC track poper – usually the spiciest bit too – and takes place over a shorter distance. The racing is much more exiting then, and closer too – Tom Pidcock won the first World Cup short track race earlier this year, despite being in last place with just two laps to go.

Watch the men’s U23 XC racing on Friday, 11 August

Finally, this one runs 11:30-13:05 via BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website and app. U23 racing is a much less of a polished affair than the elite level stuff, there’s raw talent on display for sure and the future stars of the sport will almost certainly be there. But there will be more mistakes, it’s more of a learning process, and therefore riveting viewing.