The wait is nearly over for the start of the 2013 UCI Downhill Mountain Bike World Cup, here’s why it’s going to be the best year yet!
One of the most brutally demanding courses on the World Cup circuit, Fort William is loved and feared in equal measures for its host of high speed lines, punishing rock gardens and technical natural sections littering its 2.8km long course.
Thousands of UK race fans flock to the Nevis Range on their annual pilgrimage to worship the fastest riders in the world, making the Fort Bill finish section one of the noisiest you’ll ever hear.
Live coverage of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup has been patchy at best over the last few years, but 2013 is set to change with action sports specialists Red Bull on board.
If they can put a man (almost) on the moon, we reckon they can stream some mountain biking from the side of a hill! Watch the Fort William round here.
Call us biased, but the news that Sam Hill joined Team CRC/Nukeproof at the beginning of this year piqued the interest of race fans around the globe, and flooded the internet with keyboard warriors getting all hot under the collar.
One of the sport’s biggest names and most respected characters, Sam’s looking to start afresh on board a new bike alongside a new team, aiming to reach the heights of his glory days, where he won five World Championships and stood on the podium countless times.
As well as a new-look team, CRC/Nukeproof will also be riding a fresh bike this year in the shape of the Nukeproof Pulse. Developed in conjunction with the team riders and Nukeproof’s engineers, the Pulse is the evolution of the already popular Scalp, and we’re hoping that it’ll take the guys to the top step of the podium during 2013.
There’s not a lot that hasn’t been said about American speed sensation Gwin, who’s dominated the downhill scene over the last couple of seasons. There are plenty of characters on the World Cup circuit, but the quiet man of sport does his talking on the hill, winning the first place overall at the World Cup in 2012, as well as being the first man to win five World Cup downhill races in one season, plus the overall World Cup win in 2011.
All eyes are on Gwin this year, especially after his controversial switch from Trek to Specialized. He’s the one to beat.
Look out for teams running 650b (27.5”) wheels this year – we’re expecting to see big wheels from Intense and Scott coming down the mountain (like the Intense 951 Evo above), but who else has the new breed wheel size ready to race? Will it make any difference? Will anyone care?
Here’s the full 2013 UCI Downhill Mountain Bike World Cup calendar:
• June 8 – 9: Fort William, Great Britain
• June 13 – 16: Val Di Sole, Italy
• July 25 – 28: Vallnord, Andorra
• August 10 – 11: Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada
• September 1st: Pietermaritzburg , South Africa (DHI World Championships)
• September 12 – 15: Hafjell, Norway
• September 21 – 22: Leogang, Austria