Race guide: 2017 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup reaches finale in Val di Sole

Race guide: 2017 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup reaches finale in Val di Sole

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The final round of the 2017 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup takes place this weekend in Italy.

It is the last major international competition before the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Australia with a number of British riders in action in both the cross-country and downhill competitions.

Cross-country

Two British riders have been selected for the Great Britain Cycling Team in Italy, with both Evie Richards and Frazer Clacherty set for Val di Sole.

Richards is in terrific form, having reached the podium at every round of the world cup that she has competed in this season - and the Senior Academy rider heads to Italy fresh from a fourth-place finish at the Swiss MTB Cup in Basel.

Great Britain Cycling Team's Frazer Clacherty

Her teammate Clacherty went one better in Switzerland, finishing in third place and will be keen to reach an under-23 world cup podium for the first time in his career.

As well as the two Great Britain Cycling Team riders, seven other British riders will be racing this weekend.

Annie Last (OMX Pro Team) has already made history in this season’s world cup with a terrific victory in Lenzerheide and a win in Italy would see her take a podium place in the overall competition.

Britain’s Kerry MacPhee and Vanessa Holmes will also take to the start line.

In the elite men’s competition, Grant Ferguson will look for form on the international circuit ahead of the world championships.

The CST Sandd American Eagle MTB Racing Team rider has a best finish of 23rd in Andorra in the third round of this season’s competition.

Ferguson will be joined by fellow British rider Tom Bell in the elite men’s race.

Grant Ferguson

OMX Pro Team’s Isla Short achieved a career best of seventh in the previous world cup round in Mont-Sainte-Anne and could end the season in the overall top ten with a strong performance in the under-23 women’s race.

Britain’s Lomas Oscar Wefing is also set to compete in the under-23 men’s race.

Downhill

Tahnee Seagrave will look for a third world cup win of the season after topping the podium in both Leogang and Mont-Sainte-Anne.

The Transition Bikes / FMD Factory Racing rider is having a sensational season and has an outside chance of an overall world cup victory - but knows she needs to make up 146 points on current leader Myriam Nicole of France.

Rachel Atherton

Alongside Seagrave, Rachel Atherton (Trek Factory Racing DH) continues her recovery from injury in Italy.

The reigning world champion finished fifth in Canada, displaying some outstanding bike handling skills to avoid crashing, and will be keen to prove her form and fitness ahead of the world championships in Australia.

In the men’s competition, Danny Hart will head to Italy full of confidence.

The MS Mondraker Team rider was so close to a sensational victory in torrential conditions in Canada in the previous round, beaten by one of the all-time great runs by American Aaron Gwin.

Danny Hart in action at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Mont-Sainte-Anne

Hart is fourth in the world cup standings and while reaching the podium places seems unlikely, a win at Val di Sole would be a perfect boost ahead of the world championships.

Hart is joined in Italy by teammate and compatriot Laurie Greenland who is currently ninth in the standings.

A number of other British riders will compete in the elite men’s downhill, including Philip Atwill (Propain Dirt Zelvy), Matthew Simmonds (Madison Saracen Factory Team) and Greg Williamson (Cube Global Squad protected by Bliss)

Schedule (UK time)

Saturday 26 August

12pm - Elite women’s downhill final

1pm - Elite men’s downhill final

Sunday 27 August

7.30am - Under-23 women’s cross-country final

9.15am - Under-23 men’s cross-country final

11.15am - Elite women’s cross-country final

1.45pm - Elite men’s cross-country final

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