I’ve been to the Alps on many occasions, but they still just ‘blow me away’… they are such a special place.
Photos: Seb Schieck
The train journey from Zurich airport up to the town of Chur (some 20 minutes by car from Lenzerheide) is nothing short of breath taking. Such mountains, such scale. I felt a mixture of awe, joy and fear looking up to towering peaks all around me as I chugged efficiently along to my destination. But I’m not there to look at the scenery, I’m here to watch a mountainbike race… pure downhill.
Lenzerheide sits at around 5,000 feet (higher than Britain’s biggest mountain) and it first made an appearance on the World Cup circuit last year. At 2.1km long it has a vertical drop of 435m and will take the best riders in the world just over 3 minutes to complete. It is hard to categorise it. Some would call it a ‘bike park’ style of track, but then it doesn’t feel ‘fully’ bike parky to me.
The track is pretty much the same as last year: linking sections of woods, rocks, jumps, and zig zagging multiple bermed turns (some tight and twisty others that wouldn’t look out of place on a motocross track they are so big). The hill has a kind of tiered feel to it, with steep sections that kind of level off leading to even steeper sections. Not quite waves and troughs, but it certainly does get pitched down in many places.