Marathon course ‘really unique’

2014-06-28 00:00

HAVING produced world-class cross-country courses at the Cascades MTB Park over the past couple of years, UCI MTB Marathon World Championships course designer Nick Floros’s marathon course has been given the green light by the UCI ahead of the World Championships tomorrow.

“Nick has done another great job and produced something really unique,” UCI technical delegate Simon Burney said. “To be honest, I think that the area is more suited to marathon riding than it is to cross-country, and we were confident in Nick’s ability and we were sure that he was going to put it together well.”

A cross-country course and a marathon course are laid out differently, and Burney explains that when setting a marathon course out, there is less room for personal style.

“You can easily see Nick’s style in his cross- country layout but he has done well in laying this marathon course out.”

Taking in the local scenery is something that Floros has done well, according to Burney, and he feels that it is an important aspect when designing a course. Being able to show riders elements of the local landscape and points of interest are positive aspects of Floros’s layout.

“There are only a handful of riders who have come here to finish on the podium and the rest just want to have a good experience, and I think this course will give them a great experience of what South Africa has to offer,” said Burney.

Having worked closely with Floros in the past, Burney understands his processes but there are still unique aspects on a marathon course that he is slightly worried about.

“The technical zones are of most concern to us because with nine of them, they have to be easily accessible for the management teams. It can be the difference between a great World Champs and a disappointment if they can’t get to the points easily.”

Cascades hosted a UCI MTB World Cup in April and that gave Burney and Floros a chance to plan for the upcoming event, and the former believes that it was advantageous in preparing for the upcoming marathon world championships.

“Nick and I had an opportunity to discuss plans for this event at the World Cup and having that chance has made the job easier for both of us due to the fact that he knew what we wanted from the course,” explained Burney.

Floros is renowned for producing technical and challenging courses, and Burney believes that the 95 km of the MTB marathon course is no different. “It is going to be a challenge for the riders but that is what we have come to expect from Nick. He has never made it easy for the riders and that is something that is going to make the race interesting”

Spectators can access Cascades MTB Park for free today and tomorrow, while all the action will be streamed live via the event website www.mtb — Gamepla Media.

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