Preview of the 2023 World Mountain Bike Championship | Van der Poel, Pidcock, Ferrand-Prévot, Pieterse and Peter de Grote Cycling

Preview of the 2023 World Mountain Bike Championship | Van der Poel, Pidcock, Ferrand-Prévot, Pieterse and Peter de Grote

Preview of the 2023 World Mountain Bike Championship | Van der Poel, Pidcock, Ferrand-Prévot, Pieterse and Peter de Grote

Here we go again! Amidst time trials, the world's elite mountain bikers are heading to Glentress Forest this week, where various races in this discipline are in full swing. In, we look ahead to the World Championships, where the Netherlands boasts two world-class riders in Mathieu van der Poel and Puck Pieterse.

If you peruse the list of honors at recent editions of the World Mountain Biking Championships, two names stand out: Nino Schurter and Pauline Ferrand-Prévot, the reigning king and queen of the discipline. They have held sway for over a decade, and this week, they will naturally be back on the start line, tackling the technical course in Scotland.

However, at the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, it wasn't these two who clinched the victories, but Tom Pidcock (Great Britain) and Jolanda Neff (Switzerland). They will also be present, and back home in the Netherlands, our focus remains on Van der Poel and Pieterse.

Practical information World Mountain Bike Championship 2023

  • Thursday, Aug. 10 (Short Race) and Saturday, Aug. 12 (Cross Country)
  • Participants
  • Classification: WC

In this article

  • Latest winners
  • Parcous, weather and times
  • Favorites
  • TV information
Latest winners World Mountain Bike Championships

2022 Nino Schurter / Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (Short Race Sam Gaze / Pauline Ferrand-Prévot)
2021 Nino Schurter / Evie Richards (Short Race Christopher Blevins / Pauline Ferrand-Prévot)
2020 Jordan Sarrou / Pauline Ferrand-Prévot
2019 Nino Schurter / Pauline Ferrand-Prévot
2018 Nino Schurter / Kate Courtney
2017 Nino Schurter / Jolanda Neff
2016 Nino Schurter / Annika Langvad
2015 Nino Schurter / Pauline Ferrand-Prévot
2014 Julien Absalon / Catharina Pendrel
2013 Nino Schurter / Julie Bresset

World Mountain Biking Championship 2023: - course, weather and times

Preview of the 2023 World Mountain Bike Championship | Van der Poel, Pidcock, Ferrand-Prévot, Pieterse and Peter de Grote

So, this year's World Mountain Biking Championships are set to take place in Scotland, as part of the "super" World Cycling Championships hosted in Glasgow. Not that Glentress Forest, where the races will be held, is just around the corner: it's about an hour and a half to two hours' drive from the Scottish city to Tweed Valley.

Nevertheless, that journey is well worth it, as the course in Scotland can be described as nothing less than stunning. The Cross Country rounds scheduled for Saturday cover a distance of 3.5 kilometers, with an elevation gain of 145 meters to conquer. The laps for the Short Race on Thursday are a bit shorter and snappier, measuring nine hundred meters each, with 33 meters of elevation gain per lap.

Glentress Forest is renowned as one of the premier mountain biking destinations in Scotland, offering a blend of technical sections, wooded slopes, and exhilarating descents, jumps, and other challenges. To gain a more precise understanding of the course, take a moment to watch the UCI's reconnaissance video below!

A mixed bag – that's the best way to describe the weather conditions for the mountain bike races. Thursday appears to promise dry weather for the Short Race, but less favorable conditions are anticipated for Saturday's Cross Country races. Rain is expected to dominate the weather on that day.

Short races (Thursday, Aug. 10)
Men's start: 5:45 p.m. (6:45 p.m. Dutch time)
Men's finish: 6:10 p.m. (7:10 p.m. Dutch time)
Women's start: 6:30 p.m. (7:30 p.m. Dutch time)
Women's finish: 6:55 p.m. (7:55 p.m. Dutch time)

Cross Country races (Saturday, August 12)
Women's start: 11:30 a.m. (12:30 p.m. Dutch time)
Women's finish: 1:00 p.m. (2:00 p.m. Dutch time)
Men's start: 3:30 p.m. (4:30 p.m. Dutch time)
Men's finish: 5:00 p.m. (6:00 p.m. Dutch time)

Favorites World Cup mountain biking - men 2023

Please note that the participant lists have not yet been officially confirmed.

Let's begin with the figure a significant portion of readers will turn to this article for: what are the chances and ambitions of Mathieu van der Poel? The Dutchman, who will be without his unwell compatriot Milan Vader in Scotland, has opted to skip the Short Race. As a result, he will only be competing on Saturday.

On that day, he will vie for an Olympic starting spot in the Cross Country discipline, attainable by being one of the first two riders to finish on behalf of countries that have not yet secured a place through the established routes. Van der Poel will start from the very back due to his limited mountain bike racing experience (and consequently, points). However, according to national coach Gerben de Knegt, he possesses the qualities to navigate his way to the front. This is a sentiment Van der Poel shares himself.

Word in the press room has it that Tom Pidcock staked everything on this World Championship after the Tour de France. The Brit even bypassed the tailored road race in Glasgow, focusing solely on this endeavor with a singular goal: to become world champion in his home country. Given this, he chose to dedicate himself to one discipline. Alongside Van der Poel and Pidcock, well-known road rider Peter Sagan is also on the start list. Yet, whether Peter de Grote can contend for a medal remains uncertain. He appears to be participating mainly for enjoyment, although the prospect of the 2024 Games also lingers in his thoughts.

Preview of the 2023 World Mountain Bike Championship | Van der Poel, Pidcock, Ferrand-Prévot, Pieterse and Peter de Grote

Considering the rankings in mountain biking, it seems prudent to keep a watchful eye on the Swiss contenders. First and foremost, the name that springs to mind is ten-time (!) world champion Nino Schurter, who, like his compatriot Lars Forster, is focusing solely on the Cross Country race. Schurter's arch-nemesis, Mathias Flückiger, is also in the mix, although he usually participates in both disciplines.

Sam Gaze, Van der Poel's teammate at Alpecin-Deceuninck in their everyday cycling life, wears the crown of reigning world champion in the Short Race. He outpaced Swiss riders Filippo Colombo, Thomas Litscher, Alan Hatherly (South Africa), and Martins Blums (Latvia) in the French Alps last year and remains a strong contender this season, particularly in the short discipline.

In the Cross Country discipline, David Vallero Serrano (Spain) and Luca Braidot (Italy) found themselves on the podium alongside Schurter. They are established figures in the field, as are Jordan Sarrou, Joshua Dubau, Victor Koretzky (France), Vlad Dascalu (Romania), Pierre De Froidmont, Jens Schuermans (Belgium), Henrique Avancini (Brazil), and Ondrej Cink (Czech Republic). Lastly, we must mention the names of Christopher Blevins (Short Race world champion in 2021) from the United States and Luca Schwarzbauer (winner of several Short Races this season) from Germany.

Favorites World Cup mountain biking - women 2023

Please note that the participant lists have not yet been officially confirmed.

In the women's category, Puck Pieterse has risen to prominence as the one to watch in Glasgow. The versatile rider from Alpecin-Deceuninck claimed the title of European champion this season and emerged victorious in the Cross Country races held in Val di Sole, Leogang, and Nove Mesto. These achievements have positioned the Dutch rider as a top favorite for the World Cup race in Scotland. It's worth noting that Anne Terpstra and Fem van Empel will not be participating, while Anne Tauber will be in the mix.

Nonetheless, Pieterse won't receive it as an easy gift. The presence of Pauline Ferrand-Prévot, perhaps one of the greatest mountain biking stars of all time, and Loana Lecomte, ensures that the competition from France alone is far from modest. Incidentally, Ferrand-Prévot will receive support in Scotland from her friend Dylan van Baarle, who will be cheering her on during the Short Race on Thursday.

Preview of the 2023 World Mountain Bike Championship | Van der Poel, Pidcock, Ferrand-Prévot, Pieterse and Peter de Grote

The Swiss are once again showcasing a wealth of quality. Naturally, there's Olympic champion Jolanda Neff, but also Tokyo's silver and bronze medalists, Sina Frei and Linda Indergand, along with Alessandra Keller, who holds the second spot in the world ranking for the Cross Country discipline. Hailing from another Alpine nation, Austria, Laura Stigger and Mona Mitterwalner emerge as two formidable contenders vying for the podium.

Former world champions Evie Richards (Great Britain) and Kate Courtney (United States) are also making their return, joined by Rebecca Henderson (Australia) from another English-speaking country. Additionally, Jenny Rissveds (Sweden), Martina Berta, Giada Specia (Italy), Caroline Bohé, and Sofie Pedersen (Denmark) are noteworthy outsiders.

TV World mountain biking championships 2023

The Mountain Bike World Cup will be broadcasted this week on the same channels we've been tuning into recently: the NOS, VRT and Eurosport. The exact broadcasting times have yet to be confirmed.

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