Kicks off Friday July 12th at 4:20pm
The small village in the French Alps hosts a Downhill World Cup for the first time in 17 years. Crankworx riders will be familiar with the course though.
Who will win?
Tracey Hannah and Loic Bruni.
Red Bull TV schedule for Les Gets World Cup
All UK times.
Les Gets XCC Women: Friday, 12 July, starting at 16:20
Les Gets XCC Men: Friday, 12 July, immediately following the women’s race live
Les Gets DHI Women: Saturday, 13 July, starting at 11:30
Les Gets DHI Men: Saturday, 13 July, starting at 12:45
Les Gets XCO Women: Sunday, 14 July, starting at 11:00
Les Gets XCO Men: Sunday, 14 July, starting at 13:30
Watch it all on redbull.tv/bike
Cross-Country and Downhill athletes only have a short trip from Vallnord (AND) to Les Gets (FRA) where the second “triple header” in a row takes place. The Cross-Country athletes on the other hand will face completely uncharted terrain and all-new challenges in Les Gets. Despite this, the biggest question that remains: how well have athletes recovered from the exhausting races in Andorra? Other big topics at hand are whether the French Downhill armada will continue their dominance on home soil? Is Rachel Atherton (GBR) going to win her third World Cup race of the season? What can we expect from Mathieu van der Poel’s (NED) return to the big stage? How fit will he be?
Les Gets makes maximum use of its territory by organizing the XCO races on one side of the valley and the DHI competitions on the other side. Elevation ranges from 900m – 1,820m (2,950ft – 5,970ft).
DHI: Who will crash the French party in front their home crowd?
With about three minute’s race time, the Les Gets Downhill course is one of the shorter World Cup tracks. The Downhill race starts with some picturesque Alpine meadows and grassy turns that drop into steeper and more technical wood sections. Leaving the woods, riders again have to cross some of these Alpine meadows towards the finish line.
This season’s Downhill races have been first class and especially Andorra will be hard to top in terms of action and spectacle. But that’s exactly what we expect from Les Gets, too. The three French musketeers Loic Bruni, Amaury Pierron and Loris Vergier have been dominating this World Cup season and could bring in their eleventh victory in the twelfth downhill race. But the list of potential party crashers is long: Troy Brosnan (AUS) has finished all races this season within the top three. Furthermore, he is the defending champion of the past two Crankworx Downhill races in Les Gets. World Cup record champion Greg Minnaar (RSA) proved that despite his 37 years of age he still has got what it takes to compete with the young guns. Speaking of them: Austrian David Trummer will be highly motivated to back up his results from last week. His seventh place is the best Austrian result in Downhill World Cup history. Of course, Danny Hart (GBR) and Brook MacDonald (NZL) will also be looking for their chance. Five time Overall World Cup Champion Aaron Gwin will not participate. After several crashes this season, the latest during a training run in Vallnord, Gwin will pause to recover from his injuries.
Current Downhill World Cup leader Tracey Hannah (AUS) and Queen of Downhill Rachel Atherton (GBR) will be the ones to beat in Les Gets, too. Atherton just won her 39th World Cup race in Andorra and was able to shorten her deficit to Hannah to a mere 60 points. To pose a threat to the leading two, shooting star Nina Hoffmann (GER) and Marine Cabirou (FRA) will have to build on their previous results. Hoffmann already finished amongst the top three twice this season and was the fastest qualifier in Vallnord. After three fourth place finishes, Cabirou just secured second place in Vallnord, a career best. The French crowd might push her even further.
Cross Country: The powerhouse returns
In the men’s Cross-Country, Swiss strongman Nino Schurter took his first XCO victory of 2019 last weekend in Vallnord and took over the lead in the Overall World Cup standings. Defending this position will be hard work as cycling phenom Mathieu van der Poel will be back on track. Will the Dutch be able to live up to his excellent form from earlier this season, when he won both short track races and the XCO race in Nové Město? In Albstadt, he came in second in the XCO. Mathias Flueckiger (SUI), winner of Albstadt’s XCO, and Brazilian Henrique Avancini who won the XCC race in Andorra will also aim high. Hometown favorites Maxime Marotte and Jordan Sarrou will lead the hopefuls from France.
In the women’s XCO competition several riders aim for the win – lead by favorite Jolanda Neff (SUI). The Swiss rider pointed out earlier that it is the second half of this season and she is planning to be in peak form. Her impressive comeback and second place in Andorra proved that this plan has come to fruition. Andorra winner Anne Terpstra (NED) is one of her biggest competitors. The Dutch will enter this race full of confidence drawn from her history-making race win last week. The best rider yet is Kate Courtney (USA). In Andorra, the defending World Cup Champion fell victim to her fast pace at the beginning of the race, but she impressively won the first two XCO World Cup races. Andorra third and fifth place finishers, Yana Belmoina (UKR) and Jenny Rissveds (SWE) also show an upturn in form. The Swedish Olympic Champion made a powerful comeback to the world’s elite after defeating a lengthy (click here for Jenny’s worth watching interview). Former ice speed skater Anna Tauber (NED) is a rider worth watching as well. From the beginning of the season she has proven her ability to compete with the best.