If you ask someone to draw a picture of a village set in a Swiss valley, it would probably look a lot like Lenzerheide. Soaring peaks, lush meadows and an idyllic lake – check. Rugged downhill course to challenge the world’s best? Also check.
After several years on the World Cup circuit, the UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships hits Lenzerheide in the Graubünden region in eastern Switzerland for the first time in 2018. Trek Factory Racing DH, Endura’s representatives in the gravity set will be there, gunning for more rainbow jerseys to add to their extensive collection.
Pretty as a postcard it might be, but STRAIGHTline, the 2.5km downhill track has bite and has been tweaked since the venue was selected as host to help select worthy world champions. The bike park style course is jam packed with features such as the fierce 20m rock garden, road gaps and jumps as well as tricky technical sections with a more natural feel which allow little room for error.
For an idea of how the 2018 World Championships version of STRAIGHTline will look, check out this video of Rachel Atherton’s amazing 2017 run which saw her finish in second spot, just five week after dislocating a shoulder at the Fort William round of the World Cup.
Four times an elite Word Champion and with a global junior title to her name too, Rachel Atherton became the first British winner in the elite category of the UCI Downhill World Championships and has been a feature on the podium since 2006, when she came third in her just her first season in the elite category. Having crashed out of the 2017 Worlds in Cairns after suffering a broken collarbone in practice, Rachel has shown that she’s back to her best this season breaking the record for World Cup wins and a sixth World Cup crown.
Star of our Generation K edit earlier this year, Kade is a born racer and took the step up to World Cup level in his stride last year. A concussion in practice in last year’s Worlds in Cairns saw him sit out qualifications and finals, so he’ll be back with a vengeance in Lenzerheide. Edwards achieved one of his pre-season targets by winning the British title in Glencoe recently, could he add rainbow bands to the red, white and blue too?
The Norwegian is a part of the Atherton Academy, so does most of her riding in the colours of her national team, and is in her first year in the Junior ranks. Hand picked to join the academy by Rachel Atherton, Mille has hit the World Cup podium multiple times in 2018 and if she can get a clean run in will be challenging for medals.
Qualification starts on Thursday 6th at 10:15 CEST when the Juniors hit the track, with race day kicking off with Junior Women at 09:30 CEST on Sunday 9th. Red Bull TV will be covering the action live – check Red Bull TV for details.