Man oh man. Real, genuine world cup racing. While I really loved last years few weeks of fun, it just felt weird. It didn’t feel like the real deal, primarily because nothing was really on the line for the racers. Of course they all wanted to win, some had contracts coming up, and they obviously gave it their all. But, as a viewer, it had a whole different vibe.
So, now that tomorrow, May 7, 2021, starts the first Short Track race of the season, and it counts this time, I couldn’t be happier. But this year, I can’t comprehend how many new faces are capable of podium spots. There are always U23 riders stepping up to the Elites, but has there ever been not only this many, but this many really good ones? Last years short season showed once and for all, that the old guard from just a few years ago have some serious work to do. Incredible racers at a young age. They all seem to have no fear, and go for it in some cases, right in their first race! Imagine that, turning pro, and your first race, you decide to go for the win with no regard to “learning the ropes” for a few races. I think it really took a few top pros by surprise. I’d be mighty frustrated in the off season, not knowing if all the hard work would be enough to stem the tide from the new generation.
And, at least for the North American racers, the first two races have serious implications for the Olympics in July – assuming they happen that is. So I can’t wait to see the first lap. It’s got to be crazy, with everyone hyped up and feeling fast.
Tune in to redbull.tv of course, and let’s get ready for the greatest show on earth…XC Mountain Bike on tv!
One final shout out to our USA racers! I’m rooting for Blevins and Keegan of course, and the all the women – Davison? Courtney? Huck? Woodruff? Are we going to see one of them push it to the front so soon?