Preview: Downhill World Cup #7, Hafjell, Norway

This weekend's race at the new venue of Hafjell, Norway isn't just any World Cup – it's 2012's final round, and there's still loads to play for. Aaron Gwin may have wrapped up the men's race but Greg Minnaar and Gee Atherton are still fighting it out for second place – just 19 points separates them, with 250 up for grabs – and there are plenty of young riders hungry for a win, like Brook MacDonald in Val d'Isere.

It'll be interesting to see if Rachel Atherton can cling onto the lead in the women's race, after a back injury kept her off the pace at the World Champs. Emmeline Ragot is trailing by just 80 points and will be desperate to take her first series win, and all eyes will be on young Frenchwoman Morgane Charre after her surprise victory at Leogang.

The track

So what's the track like? In the words of This Is Peaty on Twitter, it's “silly fast, really rocky and needs a huge pair of cajones!” The big jumps make it look like a bike park trail but it's steep and there are plenty of tricky rock gardens. Here’s what Steve Peat makes of it:

Source: Hafjell Track Walk, Norway 2012 from This Is Peaty / Steel City Media

You can watch a full run down it here. Here's a different perspective on things, courtesy of Anders Sahlén and his helmet cam:

Source: Hafjell Racecourse from downhilliare2 on YouTube

Hafjell World Cup track. Source:


You can watch the racing live on Red Bull TV, from 1.15pm (GMT) on Saturday, not Sunday as usual. We're going to be glued to the screen!