Guide: UCI Mountain Bike World Cup and UCI Junior Series - Albstadt

Guide: UCI Mountain Bike World Cup and UCI Junior Series - Albstadt

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Following the opening cross-country round of the 2016 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Australia last month, British riders are amongst a packed field as the series heads to Germany on Saturday 21 - Sunday 22 May.

The course in Albstadt is notoriously difficult – but has played host to strong British performances in recent years.

Alongside the second round of the world cup, the next stage of the UCI Junior Series also takes place in the Southern German city this weekend.

Elite

British champion Grant Ferguson made his elite world cup debut in Cairns and returns to a course on which he has had mixed results in recent years.

In 2014, he suffered a heavy crash on a descent while in the leading group of the men’s under-23 race but returned last year to ride well, just missing out on a podium place in finishing fourth.

Grant Ferguson

The Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team rider, who was 17th in Australia, will be keen to continue his elite development over the German course.

Ferguson will be joined in the men’s race by fellow British riders Phil Pearce and Chris Braddick.

In the elite women’s race, Annie Last makes her first world cup appearance of the season.

Representing Novus OMX Pro, the British champion is working her way back to full fitness after recent injury problems.

Annie Last

London Olympian Last will be joined in Germany by current British Cycling MTB Cross-country Series leader Kerry MacPhee.

MacPhee finished sixth in Pembrey before taking back-to-back fourth place finishes in Newnham Park and Dalby Forest and will look to transfer that consistency to the international stage.

Also competing in the elite women’s event is Maxine Filby, who has two top-ten cross-country series finishes to her name so far this season.

Under-23

The under-23 events in Albstadt also see a strong British presence in action.

In the men’s under-23 race, Iain Paton is the highest ranked national under-23 champion in the field and will be hopeful of securing a strong finish over the German course.

Iain Paton

Paton, who competed at the European championships earlier this month, will line up alongside teammate Frazer Clacherty, the pair back on international mountain bike duty together after joining Grant Ferguson in the Great Britain Cycling Team squad on the road at the Tour de Yorkshire.

Another British champion will take to the course in the women’s under-23 race. Fresh from consecutive third placed finishes in the opening two rounds of the British Cycling MTB Cross-country Series, Beth Crumpton will take on the technical Albstadt course.

Also competing, in Great Britain Cycling Team colours, is Evie Richards. The under-23 cyclo-cross world champion took bronze at the European cross-country mountain bike championships earlier this month.

Richards is in a rich vein of form with two dominant wins in her only appearances in this season’s British Cycling MTB Cross-county Series and will be among the favourites in Germany.

Completing British interests in the under-23 women’s race is Novus OMX Pro rider Isla Short.

UCI Junior Series

For the first time in two years, the UCI Junior Series takes place alongside the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup – providing the world’s best young riders with the opportunity to learn from being on the big international stage.

Sophie Wright

Fresh from becoming Britain’s first ever European junior women’s cross-country mountain bike champion, Sophie Wright returns to action in the UCI Junior Series.

Wright dominated on the Huskvarna Mountain earlier this month and will hope to continue her form in Albstadt.

She will be joined in Germany by Ella Conolly with Will Gascoyne also competing in the men’s junior race.

The venue

Albstadt is the largest city in the district of Zollernalbkreis in Baden-Württemberg, in Southern Germany.

Albstadt is hosting the world cup for the fourth year in a row, and has been one of the best attended cross-country rounds on the international calendar in recent years.

The demanding course features two long climbs, while the downhill descents are both technical and fast.

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