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How (and when) to watch 2021 World Cup finals in Snowshoe

Double DH #5/#6, and XCO #6 live from the U.S.A. starting Wednesday

mont-sainte-anne Photo by: Matt Stetson

World Cup racing is headed back to Snowshoe, W. Va., for what promises to be another dramatic conclusion to the 2021 season this week. It’s a heavy double round for the downhill racers. The cross country elite get a one more crack at both XC Short Track and XCO to end their season.

Canadians have two, major plot lines to follow in Snowshoe. There’s the end of one storied World Cup career and the start of a new promising one.  Catharine Pendrel  lines up for what the Clif Pro Team veteran has announced will be her last World Cup race. At the other end, Jackson Goldstone is chasing the jr. men’s overall title in his first season.

Loic Bruni won the 2019 World Cup overall by the narrowest of margins in Snowshoe. Photo: Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool

All (country) roads lead back to West Virginia

The last time the World Cup visited Snowshoe was back in 2019. That year the West Virginia mountains were also World Cup finals, delivering a thrilling end to the season.

Loic Bruni narrowly overtook Amaury Pierron to win the downhill overall title at the last race, with some help from Danny Hart. Kate Courtney won her first World Cup overall title as an elite woman while Pauline Ferrand-Prevot cemented her return from injury by backing up her world championships win a week earlier at Mont-Sainte-Anne.

The overall series races are just as exciting this year and, with two rounds still leaving plenty of points on the table for the downhillers, there could be some big changes in the standings over the course of the week.

Jackson Goldstone Gracey Hemstreet
Jackson Goldstone and Gracey Hemstreet both medalled at their first-ever world championships in Val di Sole. Photo: Adam Walker / The Cycling Co.

Double downhill

There’s two World Cup events for the gravity crowd this week. A second round was added to make up for the cancellation of Fort William, making this week a heavy week. The Showshoe track is notoriously rocky and rough, meaning bikes and bodies will be working hard to make it through to the end of the season intact.

Racing starts Wednesday, Sept. 15 with DH #5. Three days later, racers are back on course for the 2021 season final on Saturday, Sept. 18. Between those two, athletes won’t be sitting around relaxing. There will be track walk for any course changes, practice and a day of qualifications.

For Canadians, the most exciting story line is Squamish junior Jackson Goldstone, who is in the lead for the jr. men’s overall title. Goldstone hasn’t lost a race since the season opener in Leogang, where he was second.

The last time Kate Courtney raced in Snowshoe – or any American World Cup – she won the series overall title. After a rough 2021, she’ll be looking to re-capture some magic with the help of the home crowd on Sunday. Photo: Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool

Snowshoe Cross Country Finals

For the cross country athletes, there’s two events. Racing starts Friday, Sept. 17 with the high paced action of Short Track XC. There’s both crucial points for the overall and positions on Sunday’s start grid up for grabs as the top 40 elite men and women race a short, wide open course.

2021 World Cup racing wraps up on Sunday, Sept. 19 with the XCO finals for the elite and under-23 men and women. This is where the series overall winners will be decided. Notably absent will be Pauline Ferrand-Prevot, who ended her season early in the middle of the Lenzerheide World Cup round. That leaves new world champion and last World Cup round winner Evie Richards to challenge the dominant French rider, Loana Lecomte.

Snowshoe witness a historic moment for Canadian cross country fans, as Catharine Pendrel lines up for what she’s announced will be her last World Cup race. The veteran Canadian, who returned to racing this year after giving birth to her first daughter, will wrap up her incredibly successful international career on Sunday. Pendrel’s raced in 17 world championships, winning two, four Olympics, earning one bronze medal in 2016, won three World Cup overall titles and started 100 World Cup events. She also has Pan American and Commonwealth Games gold medals and numerous national championship titles.

While Pendrel’s closing the international chapter of her career, she’s been careful to say she’s not retiring. We’re all excited to see what the Canadian does next.

Emily Batty races the 2019 Snowshoe World Cup XCO. Photo: Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool

Broadcast schedule: 2021 World Cup finals – Snoeshow, W. Va

All elite races from West Virginia will be broadcast live on Red Bull TV. With the World Cup series returning to this side of the Atlantic, fans here in North America won’t have to set their usual early morning alarm to catch racing live. The full schedule for this week’s racing in Snowshoe is below:

September 15 – World Cup Downhill #5

Junior Men/Women (Not Televised)

Elite Women DH: 09:30 PDT / 12:30 EDT
Elite Men DH: 10:45 PDT / 13:45 EDT

September 17 – World Cup XCC #6

Elite Women XCC: 14:20 PDT / 17:20 EDT
Elite Men XCC: 15:15  PDT / 18:15 EDT

September 18 – World Cup Downhill #6

Junior Men/Women (Not Televised)

Elite Women DH: 09:30 PDT / 12:30 EDT
Elite Men DH: 10:45 PDT / 13:45 EDT

September 19 – World Cup XCO #6

Under-23 Men/Women (Not Televised)

Elite Women XCO: 09:00 PDT / 12:00 EDT
Elite Men XCO: 11:30 PDT / 14:30 EDT