It’s been a long time coming but, after 17 years, World Cup mountain biking is returning to Les Gets, France.

While the downhill course has seen use in other series, most notably as part of the Cranworx World Tour, it will be an entirely new venue for the cross country athletes.

After an exciting race at the high-altitude Vallnord, Andorra venue, the World Cup circus rolls right into another combined weekend of racing in Les Gets, France.

As always, you can catch all the racing live from home on Red Bull TV.

Here’s a breakdown of the weekend’s events, and what Canadians to keep an eye out for in every race.

UCI World Cup Valnord Andorra 2019 XCC Short Track XCC Kate Courtney
Kate Courtney leads Jolanda Neff early in Friday’s XCC. Photo: Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool
Sprinting into the weekend: Short Track XCC

Tune in Friday, July 12 as Canada’s best cross country athletes line up for the all-out effort of Short Track XCC. The new format is used to determine positions on the start grid for Sunday’s Olympic-distance XCO, so racing has been fierce all season. Peter Disera’s been finding success in the short, 20 minute race, as have Catharine Pendrel, Haley Smith and Emily Batty on the women’s side.

2019 Vallnord Andorra WOrld Cup Downhill
Finn Iles was flying in Vallnord last weekend, but couldn’t put together a clean run for finals. Photo: Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool
Sendy Saturdays: Les Gets downhill

Pushing at the top of the elite ranks for Cananada are Finn Iles and Mark Wallace. With his fourth in Fort William, Iles showed he’s got the pace when he can put together a clean finals run. Wallace has been impressively consistent all season, and sits 8th overall.

Creeping up behind them are Forrest Riesco, Henry Fitzgerald and Kirk McDowall. All three have been putting in solid results this year, with more Canadian’s making it past the qualifying cut-off every weekend.

RELATED: Course Preview: Loris Vergier rides Les Gets World Cup track

Takind advantage of a longer break in the enduro race calendar, Miranda Miller is making a brief return to World Cup downhill. Her new career as an Enduro World Series racer is going just swimmingly, with consistent results adding to a podium last weeekend in Les Orres, France. Also returning to his roots in World Cup racing will be Remi Gauvin. the top-ranked EWS racer has been dabbling with downhill already this year, racing NW Cups. How well can he hang with the worlds best?

RELATED: Rachel Atherton injures Achilles, out of Les Gets World Cup

All eyes, though should be on Canada’s junior’s. The event won’t be broadcast live, which is too bad for Canadian fans. Lucas Cruz and Patrick Laffey went 2nd and 3rd last weekend in Vallnord. Seth Sherlock was sixth and Elliot Jamieson was not far behind in 11th. They’re all back this weekend, along with Bailey Goldstone who takes her second crack at World Cup racing.

UCI XCO World Cup Vallnord, Andorra Catharine Pendrel
Catharine Pendrel marks world champion Kate Courtney in Vallnord, Andorra. Photo: Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool
Into the unknown: A new XCO venue

This weekend will be the first time World Cup cross country has taken place in Les Gets, so every rider will be on equal footing. Last weekend in Vallnord, it was Catharine Pendrel going on in the early offensive in the women’s elite race. The gamble didn’t pay off for the Canadian Olympic bronze medallist, but it will surely give her confidence going into this weekend.

It was Peter Disera who earned Canada’s top elite cross country result in Andorra. The two time elite Canadian champion continued his march up the World Cup rankings in Vallnord, finishing a career best 11th.

You can watch highlights from last week’s XCC and Downhill, and catch up on how the under-23 cross country, and elite XCO went in Vallnord, Andorra last weekend.

UCI XCO World Cup Vallnord, Andorra womens start
Joland Neff sprints off the start in last Sunday’s XCO World Cup in Vallnord, Andorra Photo: Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool

UCI XCO / DH World Cup – Les Gets, France: Sunday, July 12-14, 2019

There’s three full days of racing on hand in France. You can watch it all, live on Red Bull TV.

Short Track Cross Country (XCC) World Cup – Friday, July 12, 2019:

5:20 PM CET (Les Gets, France)
8:20 AM PST (Vancouver)
11:20 AM EST (Toronto)

Elite Women’s Downhill finals – Saturday, July 13, 2019

12:30 PM CET (Les Gets, France)
3:30 AM PST (Vancouver)
6:30 AM EST (Toronto)

Elite Men’s Downhill finals – Saturday, July 13, 2019

1:45 PM CET (Les Gets, France)
4:45 AM PST (Vancouver)
7:45 AM EST (Toronto)

Elite Women’s Olympic Cross Country (XCO) finals – Sunday, July 14, 2019

12:30 PM CET (Les Gets, France)
3:00 AM PST (Vancouver)
6:00 AM EST (Toronto)

Elite Men’s Olympic Cross Country (XCO) finals — Sunday, July 14, 2019

1:45 PM CET (Les Gets, France)
5:30 AM PST (Vancouver)
8:30 AM EST (Toronto)

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