/From our colleague Šimon Pravda from Glentress Forest/
Seagulls and crows in the fields, stone farmhouses with cows, sheep and horses, picturesque villages with stone houses. A landscape somewhat similar to our Highlands, only in the distance rising bare hills full of sheep. This is what the south of Scotland looks like around the site of the MTB portion of the World Cycling Championships.
There are castles and especially ruins everywhere. One of them is even only about half a mile from the target area – the 16th century Horsburgh Castle. Right next to the golf course.
In the middle of Glentress, you will find grandstands, a few houses, a hotel, a giant parking lot or a lookout point to observe wildlife. Then just a winding trail that disappears into a rolling forest full of ferns, changing from deciduous trees to dense evergreens. Almost like here in Nové Město in Moravia.
There are dozens of such tracks. In a relatively small area (five kilometers south to north, three kilometers east to west) they rise about 200 m above sea level from the River Tweed to 602 m, the point highest point of the bull kingdom, Dunslair Heights.
The circuit of the XC discipline is of course much shorter, only 3.5 km with an elevation gain of 145 m, but it is even crazier. This considerably pushes the technical limits of runners and will be a real hassle for some. In places it looks like downhill or enduro sections.
A jump over a creek, an awfully steep “rock section” made of giant stones, or other giant jumps seem even harder than some riders are used to. There were already a lot of falls and a few injuries, so the organizers started to adjust the most difficult places even before the start, so that they were not so dangerous.
Endurance runners help
The Czech national team rode through tough sections with the help of enduro rider Matěj Charvát. It was important for everyone to fix the alternative paths B and C and consider the potential loss of time at the expense of the risk of falling. There’s a difference between going through tough sections in practice and then going at a brisk race pace through a crowd of other competitors.
While Jitka Čábelické didn’t like these places very much at first, our biggest male favorite Ondřej Cink was obviously in a good mood.
With the Czech Republic on the track for the past few days, even the biggest stars – entertaining Peter Sagan, recent world road champion Mathieu van der Poel and, of course, main house favorite Tom Pidcock – have attracted attention. ‘attention. . Apparently, due to the difficulty of the track, “MVDP” finally decided to skip Thursday’s short track and focus on Saturday’s main race.
A Pakistani on the track
Among the riders of the classic MTB countries, including ours, exotic riders appeared on the track, for example, a Namibian, a Pakistani or a Moroccan.
Already during training there were fans along the track who were shouting at the runners and cheering them on.
And runners will need it. The initial qualification for the XCC short track (about 20 minutes) has been cancelled, so 75 men will start instead of the usual 40 and more than 50 women.
Hopefully the weather will be good for everyone. It is raining at least so far and the forecast is also good for the next few days.
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