Downhill champ in spotlight

2013-08-27 00:00

AFTER months of anticipation and preparation, organisers, participants, officials and spectators alike are counting down the hours to the start of the action of the UCI MTB & Trials World Championships today.

Yesterday’s programme was filled with course inspections and the like, but today will see the first action on course.

Riders of the various cycling disciplines take to the various tracks and look to familiarise themselves with every twist and turn as quickly as possible, before competition starts late tomorrow.

The event is being staged on African soil for the first time in history. It follows on from the very well-received UCI MTB Masters World Championships, which took place at the same venue last week. It promises to be the greatest mountain biking spectacle to take place in South Africa for some time.

Having hosted a leg of the UCI MTB World Cup in 2009, 2011 and 2012, Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg is well-known among the globe’s top elite competitors. After months of building, shaping and enhancing, riders are looking forward to tackling Nick Floros’s cross-country and Nigel Hicks’s downhill creations.

Other cross-country events set to take place throughout the competition are the cross-country eliminator and cross-country team relay.

The vast majority of the large local crowd expected to flood the Cascades course on Sunday afternoon will have one goal and one goal only. They will look to cheer on men’s downhill defending World Champion and Maritzburg local Greg Minnaar.

The hometown hero will, however, be up against the likes of Gee Atherton (GBR), Steve Smith (CAN) and Sam Hill (AUS), among others. They will look to make the men’s rainbow-striped jersey their own.

The women’s race is likely to be dominated by Great Britain’s duo of Rachel Atherton and Manon Carpenter, and the French quartet of Emmeline Ragot, Morgane Charre, Floriane Pugin and Myriam Nicole.

Recent months have seen Kim Phillips, together with his team of course designers, hard at work preparing the course upon which elements of the Trials will be staged. This cycling discipline is relatively unknown to South Africans. The event will see riders jump and hop their way through the various natural and urban obstacles, without putting their feet down, as accurately and quickly as possible. More info can be found at www.mtbworldchamps.co.za.

Today: 8:30 Opening Ceremony - Competition Venue

WEDNESDAY Aug 28 09:00 - 12:00 Official Downhill Training >>> Juniors

10:00 - 12:00 Official Cross-country Training >>> All Categories

09:30 - 12:30 Men Juniors Trials 20” Qualifying Round

11:00 - 12:00 Riders Confirmation Final Confirmation: Juniors Cross-country, Juniors Downhill

12:00 - 13:30 Official Cross-country Training >>> Reserved for Women

13:00 - 17:00 Men Elite Trials 20” Qualifying Round

13:30 - 15:00 Official Cross-country Training >>> Reserved for Men

15:00 Team Managers Meeting >>> Trials

16:00 Cross-country Team Relay World Championships

THURSDAY Aug 29 08:30 - 09:30 On foot Trials Section Inspection > > Juniors 26” Elite 26”

08:30 - 11:30 Official Downhill Training >>> Elite

09:30 Women Juniors Cross-country World Championships and awards ceremony

09:30 - 12:30 Men Juniors Trials 26” Qualifying Round

11:30 Men Juniors Cross-country World Championships

and awards ceremony

11:45 - 13:15 Official Downhill Training >>> Juniors

13:00 - 17:00 Men Elite Trials 26” Qualifying round

14:00 - 16:00 Official Cross-country Training >>> All Categories

15:00 - 16:30 Downhill Official Timed Session >>> Juniors

16:00 - 18:00 Trials Sections Modified by UCI

FRIDAY Aug 30 08:30 - 09:30 On Foot Trials Section Inspection >>> Women Elite

08:30 - 09:30 Official Downhill Training >>> Juniors

09:00 - 10:00 Riders Confirmation Final Confirmation Elite XCO, Elite DHI,XCE

09:00 - 10:30 Official Cross-country Training >>> All Categories

10:00 Women Juniors and Men Juniors Downhill World Championships and awards ceremony

10:00 - 12:30 Women Elite Trials World Championships

and awards ceremony

10:30 - 11:30 Official Cross-country Training >>> Reserved for Women

11:30 - 12:30 Official Cross-country Training >>> Reserved for Men

11:30 - 15:30 Men Elite Trials Qualifying round 26”

12:00 - 15:00 Official Downhill Training >>> Elite

13:00 Women Under 23 Cross-country World Championships and awards ceremony

15:15 Men Under 23 Cross-country World Championships

and awards ceremony

16:00 - 17:30 Men Juniors Trials 20” World Championships

18:00 - 19:30 Men Elite Trials 20” World Championships

Awards ceremony >>> Juniors 20” and Elite 20”

SATURDAY Aug 31 07:15 - 07:45 Official Downhill Training >>> Women Elite

07:45 - 08:15 Official Downhill Training >>> Men Elite

08:30 - 10:30 Downhill Official Timed Session >>> Elite

09:00 - 13:00 Trials Sections Modification by UCI

10:00 - 12:00 Official Cross-country Training

12:30 Women Elite Cross-country World Championships

and awards ceremony

15:00 Men Elite Cross-country World Championships

and awards ceremony

16:00 - 17:30 Men Juniors Trials 26” World Championships

18:00 - 19:30 Men Elite Trials 26” World Championships

Awards Ceremony >>> Juniors 26” and Elite 26”

SUNDAY Sep 1 08:30 - 09:00 Official Training - Cross-country Eliminator >>> Women

09:00 - 09:30 Official Training - Cross-country Eliminator >>> Men

09:45 - 10:45 Cross-country Eliminator World Championships - Qualifying Round

11:00 - 12:30 Cross-country Eliminator World Championships - Finals and awards ceremony

12:30 - 13:00 Official Downhill Training >>> Women Elite

13:00 - 13:30 Official Downhill Training >>> Men Elite

14:00 Women Elite Downhill World Championships

15:00 Men Elite Downhill World Championships

Awards ceremony >>> Women Elite, Men Elite.

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