Photos by Matt Rousu

"There's lots of fetaures on this course," said Tyson Schmidt, the Junior Downhill Team Manager. "There are lots of things to play on, and lots of things to practice. Theer are things all the riders need to work on for practice, with lots of A lines."

The course in Lenzerheide starts above the treeline and shoots into the rock garden as the first major feature, before then crossing under the chairlift through the Full Ges section and step up. And then it's into the trees.

"The wooded sections are actually quite wet and they're not going to dry out, so they will be quite slippery and tough to get through."

That's not to say the course is a completely natural trail through the forest.

"There are also lots of big berms you need to hold speed through, so it's a really varied track."

Compared to some of the other trails on the World Cup circuit, Lenzerheide's downhill course has a lot of bike park elements, unlike the XCO course which is a really natural course.

"It's definately quite a bike park style course, with big berms, big wooden features and a big road gap. It has a good mix of natural features in the woods, but then you pop out into the open and there are lots of bike park features too," said Schmidt.

So what will the riders run? Heavy spring rates and tyre pressure for the bike park style drops, jumps and features? Or something more supple to hold speed in the wet, wooded sections?

"I couldn't comment on bike spec!" said Schmidt. "It really depends on how a rider wants to run their steup - whether they want to focus on the bike park setup, or for the wetter stuff. I think a fairly balanced setup is key, but finding that mid ground might be tough." 

Practice is on now with qualifying tomorrow - so we'll see who has the lines dialled.