Cycling News

Canadians to watch when downhill World Cup starts in Fort William this weekend

Gracey Hemstreet in Maydena

Downhill World Cup racing is, finally, just days away. There’s no easing into the season, either. After a long winter, racers will be greeted by the brutal, long and exhausting Fort William venue in Scotland. Many Canadians on our “who to watch” list already have a few race starts, and podiums, under their belts this season. Whether that’s a Crankworx podium streak or racing Stateside at the NW Cup, the Canucks are looking fast this year.

Here’s our preview of the Canadians to watch when the World Cup starts this weekend in Fort William Scotland. As for how to watch, live broadcasts remain mixed between Flobikes (which, for the first two XC rounds, just tapped into a European feed) and UCI’s YouTube channel for elite semi-finals and junior finals.

Gracey Hemstreet was the fastest woman, and first woman to complete a Hardline track, when Red Bull made its Maydena debut earlier this year. Photo: Graeme Murray / Red Bull Content Pool 

Elite Women

Sunshine Coast sensation Gracey Hemstreet will lead the Canadian women in Fort William. She lines up for her second year of elite racing with the added confidence of a huge, and historic, performance at Red Bull Hardline in Maydena. Hemstreet will also benefit from the backing of a resurgent and highly committed Norco team, recently renamed Norco Racing Division.

Several juniors graduated into elite with the end of last season, too. We’ll see how many of them are headed to Fort William this year.

Hemstreet will face a very solid women’s field. Vali Höll remains the rider to beat, though Louise Ferguson, Tahnée Seagrave, Marine Cabirou and Monika Hrastnik all challenged the young Austrian last year. Myriam Nicole and Camille Balanche are also back in the running after injuries derailed their ’23 seasons. With only 10 spots in the elite women’s final, that’ almost as many favourites as UCI allows into the final.

After a stunning 2023 season, Jackson Goldstone will start 2024 on the sidelines. Photo: Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool 

Elite Men

After an absolutely massive 2023 season, where both Finn Iles and Jackson Goldstone wore the elite men’s World Cup leader’s jersey at one point or another, 2024 is shaping up to be another belter.

Iles is back and already has his sights set on a big result. He’ll be the top-ranked Canuck rolling into Fort Bill.

The less positive news is that Goldstone is still on the injured reserve list after his high-speed crash at Hardline Maydena….

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Canadian Cycling Magazine…