Swiss World Cup on unknown terrain: ‘it’ll be new for everyone’

Swiss World Cup on unknown terrain: ‘it’ll be new for everyone’

New to the UCI XCO World Cup scene this year is Crans-Montana, replacing Lenzerheide as the ‘Swiss World Cup Event’ on the World Series calendar. Team BMC lines up in Valais ambitiously.

The course in Crans-Montana is new to most riders. Only the Swiss riders who competed in last year’s Swiss national championships are familiar with parts of the track. This includes Team BMC’s Steffi Häberlin, Janis Baumann, and Maxime L’Homme.

Baumann: “We have to see if the course is similar compared to last year’s Swiss nationals. I heard different stories, so it’s going to be interesting.”

While Lenzerheide’s World Cup in the last few years felt more like the home World Cup for Baumann due to its proximity to his home, the new location in Switzerland is closest to L’Homme’s house, though it is still over an hour away.”

Team BMC’s newcomer this year says, "I haven’t been up there that much, but for me, it will be amazing to race my bike so close to home. For sure, a lot of people that I know will be next to the track. Hopefully, we will be riding under the blue sky and sunshine, as the people from Wallis say there is always a blue sky there."

Baumann adds: “It doesn’t feel as much like a home World Cup anymore as it used to be, but it remains fantastic to keep one in Switzerland. The track will be new to everyone, and I am sure it’ll be good with the fans and everything. After Val di Sole, I’m super motivated to do another great race.”

Carrying good feelings from Val di Sole, where both riders finished in the top 20 in the U23 category, Crans-Montana is another important benchmark. With three World Cups in one month, their training schedules have been designed around June.

In addition to being the fifth World Cup of the season this year, Crans-Montana will host the World Championships next season in the same area. In this sense, the racing this weekend is an excellent opportunity for all Team BMC riders to become familiar with the course for the most important race of the post-Olympic season.

The racing in Crans-Montana starts on Friday with the XCC U23 races. On Saturday, Häberlin, Jordan Sarrou, Titouan Carod, and Juri Zanotti will compete in their Short Races, while Baumann and L’Homme will take on the long course in the afternoon. On Sunday, the Olympic disciplines for the elite riders are on the schedule.