The stars of the Downhill mountain biking will gather in Maribor, Slovenia at the end of the month for the first of eleven events spread across the three disciplines of Cross Country Olympic XCO, Downhill (DH) and Cross-Country Short Circuit (XCC).
The UCI have been an organised bunch over the last 12 months and have even released the calendar for 2020 due to it being an Olympic year.
However, back to 2019 as the action promises to be full of thrills and spills and plenty of intense action as the worlds best commence battle.
If 2018 is anything to go by, then we are in for a real treat after Switzerland’s Nino Schurter took the crown in the men’s Cross Country, and Frenchman Amaury Pierron took the top prize in the Downhill discipline.
For British fans, Rachel Atherton came out on top in a gruelling contest with fellow Brit Tahnée Seagrave to claim the Downhill title and the 31-year-old is once again the favourite and well worth keeping tabs on in the live betting at sites such as www.novibet.co.uk for ongoing value throughout the year.
Maribor – Slovenia
The Downhill season gets under way in Europe in the city of Maribor.
It will be the first time the city has hosted a World Cup event since 2010 although the circuit has been lauded as one of the very best with plenty of intense action set to ensue.
Amaury Pierron is the man to beat in the man’s category after sweeping to the title in 2018.
The Frenchman defeated Britain’s Danny Hart by294 points to sweep to his maiden downhill title and he will be eager to repeat that feat in 2019.
The British siblings of Gee Atherton (competing in the men’s downhill) and Rachel Atherton has made the bold move of moving from Trek Factory racing to racing on bikes developed under their own brand – Atherton Bikes.
34-year-old Gee Atherton had a torrid time in 2018 finishing down in ninth place but the 5-time former World Cup winner and two-time downhill world champion looks to bring in a new era for the Atherton’s on their own equipment.
His sister Rachel is looking to capitalise on a truly remarkable 2018 where she claimed her sixth downhill World Cup success and also stormed to downhill victory at the World Championships for her fifth title.
The likes of Tahnée Seagrave will be attempting to get the better of her countrywomen in what promises to be a thrilling tournament for the women.
After Slovenia, it will be the turn of the Cross-Country disciplines as the World Cup moves to Albstadt in Germany before a trip to the Czech Republic.
The next downhill event after Maribor does not take place until the beginning of June when the series heads to Fort William in Scotland and by then we will have a clearer picture of who is on form and who needs to do what in an action packed year of mountain bike action.