After a break of six weeks, action resumes this weekend at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Champéry, Switzerland.
The cross-country athletes will compete in round seven of the World Cup under the peaks of the Swiss Alps, one week after World Championships titles were awarded in Canberra, Australia.
On the start line in Champéry, site of the 2011 World Championships, will be newly crowned World Champions Nino Schurter and Irina Kalentieva. They will go up against the World Cup leaders in the men’s and women’s categories – Julien Absalon and Lene Byberg. Both Absalon and Byberg finished second at the World Championships.
However, there will be more than those four riders looking for victory in Champéry, particularly in the women’s race. The top five riders are within 153 points of each other, and the top four – Byberg, Elisabeth Osl, Kalentieva and Marga Fullana Riera – are within 53 points.
On the men’s side, Absalon appears to be clear, with a 412 point lead in the standings ahead of Joe Antonio Hermida Ramos. But the battle for the remaining podium spots in the overall standings is extremely close, with Hermida, Burry Stander and Ralph Näf all separated by only 50 points.