MTB World Champs courses close down for some final subtle tweaks

2013-08-14 00:00

THERE is just over a week to go until the start of the International Cycling Union (UCI) MTB Masters World Championships at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg. This event precedes the highly anticipated UCI MTB and Trials World Championships,

Cross-country course designer Nick Floros and his downhill counterpart Nigel Hicks have asked for the full co-operation of both the local and visiting international mountain biking fraternity, as they close all tracks at the venue for maintenance and final course work this weekend.

The courses have suffered expected general wear and tear that needs to be attended to ahead of the commencement of the international showcases. The wear was caused by a combination of the dry Kwa­Zulu-Natal weather and hundreds of enthusiastic cyclists who took to the course over the past month, eager to see what lies in store for them,

Those keen to spend a last few hours familiarising themselves with the routes beforehand have only the rest of this week, up until Thursday, to do so. No riders will be permitted on the course from Friday.

“There has obviously been a lot of activity on the course recently. So things are a little worn in one or two areas and need some minor attention. Other sections we had always planned to change ever so slightly just before the event, so that there is still a slight fresh element to the course for World Champs,” said Floros.

“Hence, our need to shut down the courses to riders for a couple of days. This will let us do the few needed repairs and make the few subtle changes that have always been on the cards, without having to dodge cyclists or constantly worry about being hit by riders while we work.”

Word has spread of the Masters cross country course, in particular, having been hit hardest by the dry conditions and heavy traffic. However, Floros has reassured all preparing for next week’s event that the trails are in tip-top condition.

“The trails were pretty powdery up until last week, but the recent rains were an absolute gift. They have really firmed up all those powdery sections perfectly,” he said. “We had also done a bit of work on a couple of the features just before the expected rains and those too have really settled beautifully after the rains of a few days ago.”

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