Despite missing out on the test race in
“It’s a super-tough course," he explains, "because there’s a succession of repeater climbs and a longer climb in the middle. There’s no recovery on the course at all.”
"It starts with a series of steep, short climbs followed by a tight turn. Next there are some steeper short climbs linked together so they make one longer climb, followed by a long run down to some more short climbs. It’s only 4.5km a lap and I reckon we’ll be doing 10-minute laps, I think we’ll just get dizzy at that rate. There’ll be about eight efforts per lap, and the race will be about 10 laps, so that’s 80 efforts in a race!"
The combination of heat, humidity and the intensity of the course is going to make it a real challenge, combined with the threat of pollution it meant that only eight men ﬁnished the test race.
“They’ve added a few more obstacles, like a couple of rock gardens, but nothing too testing. I think this was to make sure no one tried to race it on a cyclocross bike, which a couple of riders were threatening to do!” says Oli.
For the men’s XC race, the odds-on favourite isdefending Olympic champion, Julien Absalon. The physical nature of the
That said, we shouldn’t rule out a battle with
Steep ascents and harsh conditions favour burly riders
In the women’s race, all eyes will be on the Chinese riders, Ying Liu & Chengyuan Ren. Also ﬁghting to get on that top spot will be
Sadly, our elite women’s ﬁeld has struggled to produce athletes who could be real contenders on the world stage. Now the focus is shifting on to the London 2012 Games, where plans are being put in place now to ensure that we are represented by potential contenders.