It has been a slightly later than usual start to XCO discipline racing season in this post Olympic year, with the first two world cups to be held on back-to-back weekends in May. Kicking off the 2013 UCI World Cup XCO season is the first round in Albstadt, Germany on 18-19 May, with the second round taking place in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic on 25-26 May.

The South African riders will be looking to gain maximum UCI points at both these opening events to assist in their rankings ahead of the world championship event that takes place on home soil in Pietermaritzburg in August.

Representing the women will be Candice Neethling and Mariske Strauss, both in the under-23 category.

The men’s category will see representation in the under-23, junior and elite men groups. Rourke Croeser, Paul Rodenbach, Luke Roberts, James Reid, Brendon Davids, Travis Walker and Arno du Toit will line up for the u23 start, whilst Philip Buys and Renay Groustra will be representing the elite category and Louw Kriel in the juniors.

According to the UCI (International Cycling Union) website (, 1.46 million people watched the world cup action in 2012, incorporating the XCO, downhill and cross-country eliminator races. This year, even more are expected to tune into the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano.

Discover the Red Bull Media House Live timing for the whole season.

Red Bull Media House, the exclusive production partner and online broadcaster of the 2013 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano, will present the action LIVE as it unfolds on

The 2013 UCI Downhill World Cup season will get under way on June 8 and 9 in Fort William (Scotland).