After a thrilling start to the 2022 season in Brazil, World Cup cross country racing is headed back to Europe. The classic Albstadt, Germany venue kicks off an XCO double-header, paired with the following weekend’s Nove Mesto event in the Czech Republic.
Red Bull announced 2022 will be its last year broadcasting the World Cup racing, but you can still watch this weekend’s elite races live and free on Red Bull TV.
Canadians to watch in Albstadt
A solid contingent of Canadians are in Europe for Albstadt World Cup. Gunnar Holmgren (Pivot Cycles-OTE) led the Canadians in Brazil. The Ontario racer made an impressive elite debut in 25th there. Canadian national champion Léandre Bouchard (Foresco Holdings ProCo RL Pro Team) won’t be in Germany. The Alma, Que.-based racer is recovering from a high-speed crash during practice for the Petrópolis world Cup.
Emily Batty is scheduled to return to World Cup racing in Albstadt. She joins Canyon MTB Racing teammate and Canadian national champion Jenn Jackson on the start line.
Maghalie Rochette (Specialized) will continue her mountain bike comeback campaign in Germany. The cyclocross World Cup winner is back on XC bikes this year for the first time in several years.
In the under-23 ranks, all eyes will be on Carter Woods. Albstadt is the venue where he landed his first of two u23 World Cup wins in 2021. The young Norco Factory Team rider will be back on the start line there this year, but he won’t be alone. Roxanne Vermette (Stimulus-Orbea) was the fastest Canadian u23 in Brazil, finishing eighth. She was followed closely by Emilly Johnston (Norco Factory Team) who finished 10th even after being caught in a crash off the start.
Albstadt elites: Schurter chases history
Nino Schurter (Scott-SRAM) kicked the 2022 season off with a historic moment in Brazil. The reigning world champ finally match Julien Absalon’s World Cup win record (33 career wins). Schurter will be looking to move ahead of his long-time rival in Germany. The Swiss star was close in 2021, only to be out-sprinted by Victor Koretzky at the line.
Tom Pidcock could be Schurter’s biggest obstacle to writing his name in the history books, though. The Ineos rider is back on dirt after racing the road Spring Classics. Pidcock from the back row to finish fifth in 2021, even after a flat tire.
On the women’s side, the elite field is more crowded than ever. Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (BMC) won the short track race in Brazil, but was forced out of Sunday’s XCO due to illness. Trek Factory Racing’s duo of Jolanda Neff and world champion Evie Richards were also sidelined by illness in South America. That opened the door for Rebecca McConnell (Mondraker Primaflors) to take her first career World Cup win in a battle with Anne Terpstra (Ghost) and last year’s revelation, Loana Lecomte (Canyon CLLCTV).
Chasing close behind were Austria’s Laura Stigger (Specialized) and Moana Mitterwallner (Cannondale), two young riders already looking to upset the established elites.
Broadcast Schedule: World Cup #2 – Albstadt, Germany – May 6-8, 2022
May 6 – World Cup XCC #2
Elite Women XCC: 8:20Am PST / 11:20 EST
Elite Men XCC: 9:15 AM PST / 13:15 EST
May 7 – U23 World Cup XCO (Non-broadcast)
Under-23 Men 06:30 PST / 09:00 EST
Under-23 Women 08:00 PST / 10:30 EST
May 8 – World Cup XCO #2
Elite Women XCO: 02:00 AM PST / 05:00 EST
Elite Men XCO: 05:15 AM PST / 08:15 AM EST