The two new downhill world champions, Valentina Höll and Charlie Hatton, as well as cross-country racer, Luca Schwarzbauer, have highlighted the specificities of these circuits in La Massana resort.
Pal, Andorra, 23rd of August 2023. The Pal Arinsal MTB World Cup is still in the launch phase. Today, downhill Elite riders have gone for a walk, for the usual track inspection, a useful step during which they can spot the good lines, including those of the new finish line area. Recent winners of Downhill World Championship organized in Fort William, Valentina Höll and Charlie Hatton, were logically among those present on the course. They could see by themselves the tricky parts that the Andorran event will offer. Findings they expressed at a press conference. “We discovered this new track last year and it was a big change. It’s a very intense and fast track, I also like the change in the finish line area. The rain today seems to bring a plus to the track” said Höll, who, in addition to winning her second rainbow jersey recently, is fighting for a third consecutive World Cup downhill title (she currently sits in second in the 2023 ranking). For his part, Hatton, who has just won his most important victory in Fort William, expressed his opinion in these words “Because of such a course, so intense, everything will have to be done perfectly”.
German cross-country racer Luca Schwarzbauer, who earned a total of eight World Cup victories, had similar words. “It’s a special course for us (cross-country riders) because of the altitude. This round is completely different from the others. We racers often say that every race is different and special, but I sincerely believe that this one really is. In the end the fittest will win and the rain will be a game changer compared to the races we’ve had here for the past few years.”
First races of this Pal Arinsal MTB World Cup will take place tomorrow afternoon with a double activity. Junior men and women downhill qualifying runs will take place tomorrow from 3:45 p.m., while cross-country short track U23 events will start at 5:30 p.m., for both women and men.