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How to watch: Downhill doubleheader World Cup in Maribor, Slovenia

It is time for the first TWO World Cup DH races of 2020!

Maribor World Cup

While world championships are all wrapped up for 2020, the downhill World Cup series is just getting started. This weekend sees a doubleheader land in Maribor, Slovenia.

Unlike world championships, the Maribor World Cup rounds will both be broadcast live on Red Bull TV. Finals days are Friday, Oct. 16 for World Cup #1, with the second round following on Sunday, Oct. 17.

RELATED: Luca Shaw’s Maribor World Cup DH track preview

Finn Iles Fast Life World Cup Downhill 2019
Finn Iles started fast at the 2019 World Cup in Maribor, but crashed in finals. Photo: Boris Beyer / Red Bull Content Pool

World Cup Maribor: What happened last year?

2019 marked the return of World Cup downhill to Maribor after over a decade away. Mark Wallace (Canyon Factory Racing) qualified first, with fellow Canuck Finn Iles (Specialized Gravity Racing) close behind in third position.

Canada’s juniors kept the momentum going. Ethan Shandro (Trek Factory Racing) finished second in the jr. men’s race, with Lucas Cruz of Pemberton following in fifth.

Race day for the elites saw Wallace finish inside the top ten. Forrest Riesco added a 44th, while Finn Iles crashed in his finals run.

RELATED: Rewind: Best of the 2019 Maribor World Cup DH

Tahnée Seagrave and Loïc Bruni were the victors in the opening World Cup of 2019. For Bruni, this was the first win in a golden season. Seagrave’s luck didn’t last quite as long. After an injury in Fort William, she would spend most of 2019 on the sidelines. Seagrave did make an incredible, though. She fought back to take silver at world championships in Mont-Sainte-Anne behind Myriam Nicole.

Maribor World Cup
Tahnee Seagrave started her 2019 season with a win in Slovenia. Photo: Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool

Course and Unique 2020 features

2020 is, of course, a year unlike any other. Downhill racing is back but, with the highly compressed calendar, it looks a little different than other years. For starters, there are two World Cups in four days, both at the same venue. The two rounds share part of the same track, but with several distinct sections for each round.

The compressed schedule adds a big element of endurance on top of the still and stamina required for a normal World Cup weekend. Racers had just one day to get from an epic, and surely exhausting world championships mud-fest in Austria to Slovenia before Tuesday’s track walk.

Riders will have to consider maintaining energy for four consecutive days of racing and avoid even minor injuries. Already Laurie Greenland, Vali Höll and George Brannigan are among the names missing from the start list this week after Sunday’s world championships. Amaury Pierron, Rachel Atherton and several others are also out due to ongoing injuries.

For everyone that does make it through, the compressed calendar will provide thrilling racing. With few expecting downhill to resume in 2020, just the chance to watch live events this year is exciting.

Maribor World Cup
Valentina Holl dominated her junior women’s race in Maribor last year. Her elite debut is on hold after breaking an ankle in Leogang last week. Photo: Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool

2020 World Cup #1 – Maribor, Slovenia: Schedule and Live Broadcast

Qualification – Thursday, Oct. 15

Finals – Friday, Oct. 16 [LIVE]
Women Elite – 03:30 PST / 06:30 EST / 12:30 CEST (Slovenia)
Men Elite – 04:45 PST / 07:45 EST / 13:45 CEST

2020 World Cup #2 – Maribor, Slovenia

Qualification – Saturday, Oct. 16

Finals – Sunday, Oct. 17 [LIVE]
Women Elite – 03:30 PST / 06:30 EST / 12:30 CEST
Men Elite – 04:45 PST / 07:45 EST / 13:45 CEST

Racing is scheduled to continue in Lousa, Portugal with another doubleheader downhill World Cup from Oct. 29 – Nov. 1, 2020.