The 2022 XCO World Cup in Petrópolis, Brazil starts: favourites, times and how to watch it!

Mountain bike 04/04/22 22:37 Migue A.

The countdown is over. The XCO World Cup starts next Friday 8th April in Petrópolis, Brazil, with the Short Track event. On Sunday it will be the turn of the XCO race. Everything is ready for the season opener and here we tell you all the details about the circuit, who are the favourites, times and how to watch it live.

Avancini will be the main protagonist of the weekend

Brazil: a "new" date on the calendar and a circuit with many opinions

In 2005, the MTB World Cup already held a double event (XCO and DH) in Brazil, but since then the competition had not returned to the South American country until now. Petrópolis is located in the state of Rio de Janeiro, 68 km from the city, and its tropical landscapes deliver what they promise: pure jungle.

It is interesting to understand its location as this is one of the reasons why the Petrópolis circuit is such an artificial layout for some. The lush vegetation of the area means that the circuit is very elaborate, with completely artificial areas created from scratch.

Rockgarden, very technical narrow passes and giant drops make the Petrópolis circuit one of the most challenging (and fun) in the World Cup. All in line with the current trend in competitive XCO.

This video recorded by Carlos Coloma is one of the best to get a good idea of the circuit.

Favourites to win the XCO World Cup in Petrópolis

This is the first World Cup of the year and although other races have already been held, it is difficult to know in what shape the cyclists arrive. The planning of each athlete and their peaks of form can lead to surprising results. Even so, here is our bet on which cyclists we will see fighting for the victory.


Jolanda Neff SUI

  • Age: 29
  • Team: Trek Factory Racing XC
  • Best result in 2021: Champion Switzerland, Olympic Champion Tokyo 2020
  • Main results in 2022: victory at the Chelva Internationals and the CIMTB in Petrópolis
  • Strategy: If she has her day, she likes to attack from the start and stay alone in the lead until the end. Last week in the CIMTB she won with more than 6 minutes advantage over the second. She is one of the riders with the best technique on the grid, something that will be key in Petrópolis.
Jolanda Neff knows what it's like to win in Petrópolis

Evie Richards GBR

  • Age: 25
  • Team: Trek Factory Racing XC
  • Best result in 2021: XCO World Champion and 2 World Cup victories
  • Main results in 2022: she won in Banyoles
  • Strategy: pure power. Her constant attacks in the race take their toll on her rivals and cause serious damage to those who try to keep up with her.

Pauline Ferrand Prevot FRA

  • Age: 30
  • Best result in 2021: European champion
  • Main results in 2022: 3rd in the Absa Cape Epic
  • Strategy: she is a very complete cyclist with impeccable technique on tricky terrain. Her ability in the mud could give her a big advantage on the Brazilian circuit.

Sina Frei SUI

  • Age: 24
  • Team: Specialized Factory Racing
  • Best result in 2021: XCC World Champion
  • Main results in 2022: victory in the Abenga City International Cup
  • Strategy: she knows how to read the race very well and almost always finds a gap in the front group. She has a very powerful sprint capable of solving any race in the last metres.

Loana Lecomte FRA

  • Age: 22
  • Team: Canyon CLLCTV
  • Best result in 2021: overall World Cup classification champion
  • Main results in 2022: she has only competed in two races, one in Switzerland and one in the French MTB Cup, and she has won both of them.
  • Strategy: she is a watts powerhouse right from the start. Her devastating pace often leaves her alone at the head of the race from the very first metres.
There is a lot of expectation to see Mona Mitterwallner compete in the Elite category.

Mona Mitterwallner AUT

  • Age: 20
  • Team: Cannondale Factory Racing
  • Best result in 2021: World Champion XCM Elite, World Champion XCO Under-23, European Champion Under-23, overall winner of the World Cup Under-23 classification.
  • Main results in 2022: she has won the only two races she has contested, a Hors Class race in Italy and a category 1 race in Austria.
  • Strategy: It is her first Elite World Cup race and it would be normal for her to have a discreet performance. But it wouldn't be surprising to see her debut in style either.


Nino Schurter SUI

  • Age: 35
  • Team: SCOTT SRAM
  • Best result in 2021: XCO World Champion
  • Main results in 2022: he won the Tankwa Trek stage race and has been very strong in the Absa Cape Epic, although the result did not match his performance.
  • Strategy: he is the best on the track and knows how to compensate for the weaknesses of age like no one else. He accelerates in the most technical parts of the circuit to force his rivals to make mistakes. He is the best mountain biker in history.
Nino Schurter is going for the win at the age of 35

Mathias Flueckiger SUI

  • Age: 33
  • Team: Thomus MAXON
  • Best result in 2021: overall XCO World Cup winner
  • Main results in 2022: he arrives in Brazil with practically no competition.
  • Strategy: He can do anything at any moment of the race. He is a very offensive cyclist capable of resolving the race with an attack in a technical zone or winning the sprint.

Henrique Avancini BRA

  • Age: 33
  • Team: Cannondale Factory Racing
  • Best result in 2021: Brazilian champion and victory at the Short Track in Lenzerheide
  • Main results in 2022: 2 victories in XCO events in Brazil
  • Strategy: a flying start. He will try to take the victory in the Short Track and on Sunday he will surely be the favourite and will be the protagonist of countless attacks.
2022 could be the year of Vlad Dascalu

Vlad Dascalu ROU

  • Age: 24
  • Team: Trek Factory Racing
  • Best result in 2021: 2nd in the Snowshoe World Cup
  • Main results in 2022: 2nd in the CIMTB Petrópolis
  • Strategy: to stay in the front group and attack on the last lap. A week ago a flat tyre deprived him of victory on this same circuit and anything less than a podium finish will be a surprise.

Cris Blevins USA

  • Age: 24
  • Team: Specialized Factory Racing
  • Best result in 2021: 1st in the Snowshoe World Cup
  • Main results in 2022: 3rd in the Absa Cape Epic
  • Strategy: stay in the lead of the race and resolve it on the last lap or directly in the sprint.

When and where to watch the 2022 MTB World Cup in Petrópolis

One more season, and it will be the last one, the MTB World Cup will be available online live and free from the RedBull TV website. Here are the times to watch the Short Track on Friday (women and men) and the race on Sunday.

Please note that the schedule is based on local time, although for the live events we have already indicated the time of broadcast for UK.

Friday 8 April 2022

16:30 (19:20 GMT) Short Track - Women  WATCH LIVE
17:15 (20:20 GMT) Short Track - Men WATCH LIVE

Saturday 9 April 2022

15:00 XCO Sub 23 - Men
16:30 XCO Sub 23 - Women

Sunday 10 April 2022

11:20 (15:20 GMT) XCO Final - Women WATCH LIVE
14:35 (18:35 GMT) XCO Final - Men WATCH LIVE



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