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2021 Mountain Bike World Championships Downhill Rider Start List and Other Observations

The 2021 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy is underway this week. The downhill race, which is held on the infamous Black Snake trail, is steep, rocky and unrelenting; possibly most known for taking out Sam Hill on the second-to-last turn during a glory run back in 2008.


Leading up to World Champs was drama surrounding the #USDH team selection, as the original press release announcing the squad failed to include Aaron Gwin. A clerical error on USAC's behalf revealed the list should have included Gwin, and a re-announcement was made setting Austin Dooley, a rider on the original team list, back to alternate. While racing in New Jersey, Gwin suffered a back injury that ultimately led him to bow out of a 2021 World Champs run, thus granting Dooley a spot to compete.

Outside of the USAC team debacle, some riders have been getting laps in on the adjusted track in Italy. Initial reports claimed the course had been "bike parked," or DH slang for made easy and smooth. gordo's pick for the rainbow stripes, Troy Brosnan, proved otherwise as he showed us a track preview with Kye A'hern. The "bike park" claims are unfounded with plenty of bike smashing and tomahawking in our Vital RAW future. 


Troy and Kye weren't the only riders clocking laps on the VDS track, and some purists (cough, Sven) don't seem too happy about the pre-practice. Historically, early training hasn't meant much for a good result, but every advantage will be necessary to take a win during downhill mountain biking's biggest one-day race. In 2016, Danny Hart and Rachel Atherton won World Champs for Great Britain on the brutal track. Rachel, who recently gave birth to her first child is not competing, but Danny Hart is on the list for 2021. The last time Val di Sole was raced at the World Cup level in 2019, Laurie Greenland (GBR) and Marine Cabirou (FRA) took Elite wins. Both riders are on the start list for this week.

Fun fact: None of the #USDH Elite Women, Nik Nestoroff, Austin Dooley or Dante Silva were born when the Val di Sole Black Snake track was debuted in 1998.

Stay tuned for the carnage.

Elite Women's Start List


Elite Men's Start List


Junior Women's Start List


Junior Men's Start List


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