Home > MTB

How to Watch: Les Gets World Cup Downhill and XCO

Where and when to cheer on Canadians in France this weekend

Les Gets World Cup XCO 2019 women's start Photo by: Bartek Wolinksi / Red Bull Content Pool

Summer is in full swing so, after a wee little break, World Cup racing is back on with another big double header this weekend. This time, Les Gets, France hosts the festivities. There’s a brand new Downhill track and technical tweaks the the cross country course. A few changes will keep this classic venue fresh for three days of racing.

All elite races will be broadcast live on Red Bull TV. The full race schedule is at the bottom of this page.

Les Gets World Cup Downhill
Amaury Pierron won here in 2019 with an astounding run. The French rider will be missing this weekend after an injury at a French Cup DH over the weekend. Photo: Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool

Downhill heats up in France

World Cup downhill’s return to Les Gets in 2019 produced spectacular racing, with huge jumps and high speed flat grass corners. An old school track saw Amaury Pierron and Tracey Hannah claim victories in a thrilling final. Both will be absent this weekend, though. Pierron’s injured, while Hannah retired from downhill racing at the end of 2020.

RELATED: Off Piste: Brook MacDonald gets hectic in Les Gets DH course preview

In addition to new winners, there’s a new course for this weekend. More technical features are added in with the high speed sections, including one very tall road gap. After one race, the 2021 World Cup series is already heating up. The new course should shake up the standings.

Haley Smith
Haley Smith was sixth the last time she raced in Les Gets. As was teammate Peter Disera. Photo: Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool

Final tune-up before Tokyo

For the cross country racers, Les Gets will be the final World Cup event before the Tokyo 2021 Olympics. That means one last chance to sort out race fitness and bikes before the men’s and women’s mountain bike race on July 26 and 27 in Japan.

Two favourites, Mathieu van der Poel and Tom Pidcock, will both be absent from the men’s race. The former being preoccupied with maintaining his lead at a little road race in France, the latter just returning to racing after a shattered collarbone.

That leaves room for Nino Schurter to continue his quest to match Julien Absalon’s World Cup win record. It’s another Swiss rider, through, that’s been shining brightest. Mathias Flueckiger doubled up, winning both races in Leogang, Austria.

On the women’s side, the two top women with both be looking to impress at home. Young French racer Loana Lecomte is undefeated in XCO so far in 2021. She’s been chased at each round by world champion Pauline Ferrand-Prevot.

For the Canadian’s, Les Gets has been a favourable track. Haley Smith and Peter Disera both brought home sixth place finishes for Norco Factory Racing in 2019. Both are still in the running for a spot in Tokyo this year, and will be looking to tap into a bit of the magic they found the last time they raced here.

Broadcast Schedule: World Cup DH#2 & XCO/XCC #4 – Les Gets, France, July 2-4, 2021

Racing in France starts Friday with Short Track XCC. Elite races will be broadcast all weekend live on Red Bull TV.

July 2 – World Cup XCC #4

Elite Women XCC: 8:20AM PST / 11:20 EST
Elite Men XCC: 9:15 AM PST / 13:15 EST

July 3 – World Cup Downhill #2

Junior Men/Women (Not Televised)

Elite Women DH: 3:30AM PST / 6:30 EST
Elite Men DH: 4:45AM PST /  7:45 EST

July 4 – World Cup XCO #4

Under-23 Men/Women (Not Televised)

Elite Women XCO: 03:00 AM PST / 06:00 EST
Elite Men XCO: 05:30 AM PST / 08:30 AM EST