On the Downhill (DHI) side, a brand new track has been created for the 2021 Mercedes-Benz UCI MTB World Cup. Inspired by the track that hosted the P2V Invitational in 2020, the course retains only the start and finish areas.
The organisation was willing to offer riders a varied track with a succession of fast and technical sections and a great show with, in particular, a spectacular finish!
Léandre Alegri and Benoît Texier, directors of the DHI course, give us a preview of this new challenging and spectacular route.
Both former technicians on the MTB World Cups, Léandre and Benoît designed and shaped this new DHI trail. Benoît (left) is a mountain bike guide and instructor at Bike Experience and Léandre (right) has created his own company Bike Trail Concept.
What’s the story of this track?
Ben: It’s a new track which is being created on Mont-Chéry for the 2021 World Cup and the 2022 World Championships. We didn’t want to stay with the 2019 track – which is a little outdated nowadays with the progression of the discipline. Only the start and finish areas are the same. In September 2020, we were busy shaping the track for the P2V Invitational, a race organised by the P2V association and all the locals in the resort. We are going to build on this track, which is a good base, and offer a more open, more technical and faster route with a spectacular finish!
What do you want to offer with this new route?
Léandre: We want to offer the riders a modern, comprehensive track, adapted to the demands of downhill mountain biking, which has evolved enormously in recent years. We start with a fast open start, followed by many technical parts in the forest undergrowth where the successive rider traffic will leave roots and brake holes on show. We close with a fast, aerial finale, a series of tables between the road and the Mont-Chéry cable car. In conclusion: more entertainment for the crowd and more enjoyment for the riders!
Ben: The bottom of the track will be completely transformed. It will no longer follow the black track of the bike park but will go straight into the woods on a steep slope. ¾ of the track will be in the woods, unlike the old track which was almost entirely on the ski slopes. For us, it was very important to have a test year for this new track before the 2022 World Championships.
What qualities are needed to perform well on this new course?
Léandre: this new track will no longer be a single track like it was in the 2019 World Cup. More routes will be possible, which will create a lot of paths to make a difference on the different riding styles and allow time differences and entertainment. Some will opt for the wider paths, and others will try to take the more technical routes. As a result, this track requires a lot of work from the staff and the rider beforehand to analyse the possible paths, the section times and the many mechanical adjustments… Not to mention the strong physical and mental skills that are essential to win a round of the World Cup.
The track will be a little slower than in 2019 but it will be longer and with lots more obstacles so it will be physically harder. 20 or 30 seconds more on a 3mins 30 or 3mins 40 run is no small feat!
Which section of this track do you prefer?
Léandre & Ben : Without hesitation the lower part in this new wood, up to the finish which we called “black wood”. It is full of steep slopes, dotted with roots, banked bends which concludes with a very aerial finish line. We cannot wait to see them on this brand-new section !
Discover the new DHI track
Bikepark & World Cup
Christophe Gressent, Les Gets Bikepark manager :
“During the event, my role is to ensure the operation of the Bikepark and the hosting of the World Cup. We are keen to offer a quality event, with top spectator access while maintaining the operation of the Bikepark for customers, without too many track closures.”
➡️ The Bikepark on the Chavannes side remains accessible to the public, except for the bottom of the four cross which will be closed from 28 June to 04 July; a diversion will be put in place. On the Mont Chéry side, the Bikepark will be closed to bikes from 28 June to 04 July.