All the information about the 2021 Les Gets XCO World Cup, the last one before Tokyo
The best international mountain biking comes to Les Gets, France, in what will be the last World Cup before the Olympic Games. An event that premiered its circuit in 2019 with victories by Courtney and Schurter and to which new technical zones have been added for 2021. Here you have all the relevant information about the 2021 Les Gets MTB XCO World Cup.
Les Gets, a legendary circuit renovated in 2021
This year will be the second time that the World Cup will be held in Les Gets, after a break in 2020, but this is truly a legendary circuit that hosted the MTB World Championships in 2004.
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That 2004 World Cup marked a clear change of generation that continues to this day. It was there that Julien Absalon won his first rainbow jersey, out of five in his career. In the U23 competition, German champion Manuel Fumic, currently with Cannondale Factory Racing, took the rainbow jersey of the category.
Moreover, in the 2004 World Championships, a young Swiss rider called Nino Schurter wore a rainbow jersey for the first time, in the junior category, and he did so with a Scott mountain bike hardtail under his feet. 17 years later Nino arrives again in Les Gets in different conditions and with a whole life and 8 world titles in between.
In 2019 Nino Schurter and Kate Courtney took the victory in Les Gets. Les Gets will host the World Championships again in 2022 and the 1,100m high circuit will include new technical areas this year.
Favourites to win the 2021 Les Gets World Cup
Although not as much as last year, it is undeniable that this season is also being a bit atypical because of the absences, variations in performance and new favourites that we are seeing in the World Cup. Even so, we are going to try to make a prediction of who could stand on the podium of the 2021 Les Gets XCO World Cup.
In the women's competition
As we have already anticipated, American Kate Courtney was the last to win on this circuit in 2019, and after her injury in Nove mesto she seems fully recovered with the victory in Switzerland. So we can't leave her out of the favourites.
But don't forget two important things, Les Gets is in France and things have changed since 2019.
With these two premises, and if we had to choose two riders for the victory, they would be Loana Lecomte and Pauline Ferrand Prevot. The former has won all the World Cup races this year, is the undisputed leader of the UCI ranking and is racing in front of her home crowd, it would really be a surprise if she did not win. Pauline is approaching the big goal of the year, the Olympic Games and she is a rider who prepares well the season to get her peak of form at the right time, so this could be her best World Cup race of this 2021.
But we cannot leave out of the favourites three of the riders who were in the Top 5 in Leogang. Swiss Jolanda Neff is showing signs that she is back to racing at her best level and hopefully she will arrive at Les Gets fully recovered from her hand fracture. Young Laura Stigger, who finished third, is another candidate for the podium in any race.
Finally the Swedish Jenny Rissveds is one of our favourite riders for her consistency and talent, she has done another high altitude training camp before Les Gets and it would surprise no one if she showed her best level one month before Tokyo, where she will have the difficult task of revalidating her gold medal.
In the men's competition
In the men's race there are almost as many doubts as there are favourites to win. On one hand, the British Tom Pidcock assured that he would return in Les Gets and if so he should start as the undisputed favourite after his previous performances, but let's not forget that he broke his collarbone just a month ago and although he has already proven himself on the road, MTB could take its toll on him.
After winning the Short Track and the XCO race in Leogang, Mathias Fluckiger is our bet for victory in Les Gets, but the Swiss will not be made easy by any of the French riders competing in front of their home crowd, such as Jordan Sarrou, Maxime Marotte, Victor Koretzky or Titouan Carod. In addition, the Czech Ondrej Cink is one of the most consistent riders this season and the only one who was able to keep up with Fluckiger's pace and attacks in Leogang.
Leaving Swiss rider Nino Schurter out of the podium favourites would be a huge mistake. Schurter was not at his best in previous races, but we must not forget that he won here in 2019 and he is a cyclist who does not give up in the face of adversity. It is impressive to see a whole 8 times world champion fighting a race in very late positions and knowing that victory is impossible, as he did in Leogang. This is a good example of his exceptional competitiveness in any situation and the best insurance that Nino will win again.
Where and when to watch the 2021 Les Gets World Cup
The 2021 Les Gets World Cup can be watched live online for free on the RedBull TV website. By clicking here or on the image you will be taken to the RedBull website where you can watch both the Short Track on Friday (women and men) and the race on Sunday.
Friday 2 July 2021
- 17:30 Short Track Elite Women
- 18:15 Short Track Elite Men
Sunday 4 July 2021
- 12:20 XCO Elite Women's World Cup
- 14:50 XCO Elite Men's World Cup