2021 MTB World Championships in Val di Sole: favourites, schedules and where to watch it all
In the northern part of Italy is the alpine valley of Val di Sole, where the 2021 MTB World Championships (XCC, XCO, 4x, e-MTB and DH) will be held from 25 to 29 August. We are facing one of the most exciting editions of the last years and here we leave you all the information about dates, schedules, circuit, favourites and where to watch it all.
When and where to watch the 2021 World Championships in Val di Sole
The 2021 MTB World Championship of Val di Sole will be available to watch and follow live on RedBull TV for free, from the different options offered by the Eurosport platform and it should also be broadcast by national TV channels. For example, in Spain rtve.es has broadcasted the event live in the last editions and it is expected to do so this year as well, although it has not yet been confirmed.
Wednesday 25 August 2021
- 12:30 XCO Team Relay World Championship
Thursday 26 August 2021
- 11:30 Junior Women's XCO World Championship
- 13:30 Junior Men's XCO World Championship
- 17:00 World Championship Short Track Women
- 17:45 World Championship Short Track Men
Friday 27 August 2021
- 15:00 e-MTB World Championship Women
- 16:45 e-MTB World Championship Men
Saturday 28 August 2021
- 09:00 Under-23 Women's XCO World Championship
- 10:45 Under-23 Men's XCO World Championship
- 13:00 XCO Women's Elite World Championship
- 15:45 XCO Men's Elite World Championship
Sunday 29 August 2021
- 09:20 DH Junior World Championships (Women and Men)
- 12:50 DH Men's Elite World Championship
- 14:10 DH Women's Elite World Championship
Who won last time in Val di Sole?
Looking back, the 2019 Val di Sole World Cup put on the podium some of the protagonists who are the favourites for this edition, that was the last time the Val di Sole circuit was raced and now it will be the stage where the next rainbow jerseys will be decided.
In the 2019 Val di Sole Short Track, Jolanda Neff in the women's race and Van der Poel in the men's race were the fastest.
In the women's XCO race, Frenchwoman Pauline Ferrand Prevot won in a sprint over Switzerland's Jolanda Neff, with Jenny Rissveds closing the podium 1 minute behind. In the men's XCO race, Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel won the race with another of his lightning attacks, Mathias Flueckiger was second and Nino Schurter third, almost 1 minute behind.
The course on which the 2021 XCO World Championships will be held is practically the same as the one on which the World Cup races were held in 2018 and 2019. It is a 4 km circuit with 190 metres of elevation gain around the Bikepark Val di Sole in Daolasa di Commezzadura.
It is a course very much in tune with today's XCO, full of rock gardens and root zones. In 2018, the "Bear Forest" area was added to the course, which, along with new technical passages, ensures the spectacle for the public while testing the riders on all types of terrain. For this event, a new finish area has been set up to ensure a better view for the fans.
Favourites to win the 2021 Val di Sole XCO World Championship
The upcoming edition is one of the most open in recent years and it feels like anything can happen in a World Cup race, but we're going to take a stab at the favourites.
Who will be the next XCO World Champion?
In the women's race, France's Loana Lecomte has won every World Cup race this season, but at the World Cup she will compete in the under-23 category for the rainbow jersey.
For her part, Jolanda Neff showed in the Tokyo race that she has returned to her best level and is capable of being fighting again for the rainbow jersey, which she already got in 2017, as well as the current World Champion, Pauline Ferrand Prevot, the French rider is one of the most consistent riders in the last 3 years and the current World Champion, anything less than finishing on the podium would be a surprise.
Behind them we can name a group of cyclists who have proven to be capable of being in the fight for the top places, such as the Dutch Anne Terpstra, the Australian Rebecca McConnel, the Swedish Jenny Rissveds or the Swiss Linda Indergand.
Rainbow jersey more open than ever before
Mathieu van der Poel was the last rider to win on this circuit and was the favourite to win until he announced that he will not be at the World Championships due to back problems caused by a fall at the Olympic Games.
Switzerland's Mathias Flückiger, the silver medallist at Tokyo 2020, has been the most consistent this season and, as he himself has said, is in a position to win any race.
In the men's race it is impossible for us to choose only three favourites, so we will make a group of cyclists who could make the podium without being a surprise. From MTB legend Nino Schurter to Czech Ondrej Cink, Olympic medallist David Valero and not forgetting Brazil's Henrique Avancini and France's Victor Koretzky and reigning World Champion Jordan Sarrou.