How to Watch: World Cup XCO / DH Vallnord, Andorra

Watch live as Canada's cross country and downhill racers join together to take on the world's best

July 3rd, 2019 by | Posted in MTB | Tags: ,

Top downhill and cross country riders come together for World Cup racing for the first time in 2019 this weekend in Vallnord, Andorra.

The Pyrenees offer a different challenge for the two groups of athletes. Cross country racers will be gasping for air as they sprint up punishing hills at the high-altitude venue. On the downhill side, a relentlessly steep and technical track will test skill, courage and stamina.

All the action will be broadcast live, and with full replays, on Red Bull TV.

World Cup Vallnord Andorra 2018
Finn Iles found his first elite World Cup podium in Vallnord, Andorra in 2018. Photo: Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool

Canadian’s have proved resilient in under Vallnord’s tough conditions. Last year, Finn Iles scored his first elite downhill podium in Vallnord. The Whistler rider finished fifth behind France’s Loris Vergier. Tahnée Seagrave won the women’s downhill, but won’t be back from injury on time to defend her podium.

Emily Batty went on the attack last year in Andorra, battling against her now-teammate Jolanda Neff and the legendary Norwiegan Gunn-Rita Dahle-Flesjå. In the end, Dahle-Flesjå earned her 30th career World Cup win, before retiring at the end of 2019. Batty kept her impressive podium streak alive with a 3rd place, while Jolanda Neff finished second.

Gunn-Rita Flesje Dahlå Vallnord Andorra World Cup
Dahle-Flesjå and Batty celebrating at 2018 Vallnord World Cup XCO. Image: Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool

This year, it’s Haley Smith of Uxbridge, Ont. that’s coming into Andorra with momentum. The Uxbridge, Ont. rider landed her first ever World Cup podium last round in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic. She’s leading the way for a charging Norco Factory Team XC squad, with all riders putting in personal best performances in Czech Republic. Canadian national champion Peter Disera scored a front row start in with his Short Track results, then led the field into the holeshot corner in Sunday’s XCO.

World Cup
Kate Courtney celebrates after World Cup XCO in Albstadt, Germany. Image: Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool
Wide open racing meets American dominance

The men’s cross country field will be feeling the absence of current World Cup leader Mathieu van der Poel. The Dutch star has opted to miss the next two World Cup XC rounds to recover from the cumulative effort of cyclocross season, a successful Spring Classics campaign, and the opening World Cup rounds.

It wasn’t van der Poel challenging the ever-present Nino Schurter in 2018, though. Italian Gerhard Kerschbaumer dragged Schurter into a dramatic sprint, earning his first World Cup win. The Italian has been quieter since, but could return to form in the Pyrenees. No matter who wins, there will be a new World Cup leader by the Sunday’s end.

While the men’s leader’s race is wide open, American world champion Kate Courtney has stamped her dominance all over the women’s World Cup this year. The Scott-SRAM athlete has a 210 point lead over Jolanda Neff in second place. Behind that, it’s a tight race for third. Haley Smith, currently eighth, is just 68 points behind American Chloe Woodruff in third.

You can watch the racing live on Red Bull TV.

World Cup Vallnord Andorra
Finn Iles at the 2018 UCI DH World Cup in Vallnord, Andorra. Image: Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool

UCI XCO / DH World Cup – Vallnord, Andorra: Sunday, July 7-9, 2019

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

Short Track Cross Country (XCC) World Cup – Friday, July 7, 2019:

5:20 PM CET (Vallnord, Andorra)
8:20 AM PST (Vancouver)
11:20 AM EST (Toronto)

Elite Women’s Downhill finals:

12:30 PM CET (Vallnord, Andorra)
3:30 AM PST (Vancouver)
6:30 AM EST (Toronto)

Elite Men’s Downhill finals:

1:45 PM CET (Vallnord, Andorra)
4:45 AM PST (Vancouver)
7:45 AM EST (Toronto)

Elite Women’s Olympic Cross Country (XCO) finals:

12:30 PM CET (Vallnord, Andorra)
3:00 AM PST (Vancouver)
6:00 AM EST (Toronto)

Elite Men’s Olympic Cross Country (XCO) finals:

1:45 PM CET (Vallnord, Andorra)
5:30 AM PST (Vancouver)
8:30 AM EST (Toronto)

Highlights and winning runs from 2018 World Cup XCO / DH Vallnord, Andorra :

XCO Highlights

Loris Vergier’s winning downhill run:

Tahnee Seagrave’s winning run from Andorra World Cup DH