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What to expect from new Bielsko-Biała World Cup

What to expect from new Bielsko-Biała World Cup

This weekend the World Cup makes its first-ever visit to Bielsko-Biała in Poland. The combined downhill and enduro World Cup is the second round for both disciplines. It’s also the third new World Cup venue of 2024 after two new courses for the cross country crowd in Brazil.

Enduro then downhill

The weekend starts on Friday with the second enduro World Cup round. After a very physical season-opener in Finale Ligure, racers will be looking forward to a little more familiar looking enduro. Less pedalling down, less stressful pedalling up. It’s still looking like well over 1,500m of vertical elevation gain and loss over the single day of racing, so no easy day out, but more gravity-focused descents.

Canadians are poised for more good results this weekend. Elly Hoskin scored the first EDR podium of 2024 for the Canadians, finishing second in Finale in the under-21 women’s race. Overall winner of the last two years, Vancouver Island’s Emmy Lan, will be looking to get back to the top step this weekend.

Jesse Melamed and Jack Menzies will be looking to move up after a solid start in Finale. They’ll have fresh bikes after their team van was robbed outside Vienna on the way from Italy to Poland. The new Commencal 7Mesh team also looked strong in Finale, with Andréane Lanthier Nadeau and Wei Tien Ho both posting top-10 stage results and Elliot Jamieson not far behind.

Winners of round one were the always-consistent Richie Rude and Trek Factory Racing’s Harriet Harnden. With Isabeau Courdurier on her last full-time pro season, the French woman will likely want to get back in front of Harnden this weekend in Poland.

Downhill’s first new venue of 2024

For the DH crowd, it’s an all new venue. The track in Szczyrk looks fast, a little on the shorter side and with a mix of bike-park style jumps, many freshly built for the event, and raw, old-school style wide open sections. That will likely make times tight, so getting through qualification and semi-finals and onto the live broadcast will be a big mission for non-protected riders.

Canadians are led by Finn Iles in the elite men’s race, who finished third in Fort William. First-year elite Bodhi Kuhn also had an impressive debut showing. Lucas Cruz unfortunately joined Jackson Goldstone on the injured list just before racing at Fort Bill.

On the women’s side, Gracey Hemstreet…

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