The ninth annual 24 Hours of Adrenaline World Championships head to Laguna Seca Raceway near Monterey, California September 1-2. Last year's race was made famous by the movie 24 Solo, which documented an epic battled between Craig Gordon (Cannondale) and Chris Eatough (Trek / VW). Gordon ultimately won, but it cost him a trip to the hospital after his body started to shut down from the epic effort.
This year, neither Eatough nor last year's women's winner Sue Haywood (Trek / VW). Both will be contesting the NUE series finale in Virginia. However, racers like endurance pro Pua Sawicki will be there vying for the title.
New for this year, teams will also compete for a world title. Teams can be comprised of any three riders.
Fumic Brothers & Polc rule Maribor rehearsal
Last weekend, the courses for the Nissan UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Finals coming up September 15-16 in Maribor, Slovenia, got a test run in competition.
Slovenia Cup finals hosted a UCI Class 1 race which was won ruled by brothers Lado and Manuel Fumic of Fumic Brothers International. Racer competed on a 4.5 kilometre lap with 150 metres of elevation change per lap. 31 year-old Lado led from the start of the eight-lap race to be later joined by his six-years-younger brother Manuel, the former Under 23 World Champion.
"I stayed in front from the start, I was trying to test my shape," said Lado. "It was working okay, then I waited for my brother and we continued together. It worked perfectly on this course, here riding in a small pack is faster than riding in a larger group."
In the end Lado was faster than Mani, finishing a few meters in front of him. Ukrainian National Team member Sergiy Rysenko finished in third just under two minutes behind. Czech Merida team rider Jiri Friedl followed in fourth and Austrian champion Christoph Soukup. Soukup rode in third close to FBI riders for more than half of the race before being slowed down by a flat tire.
"I think the race course is pretty good," added Lado. "It is a fast course and there is no place to recover. It will be a really hard race at the World Cup finals. Today the weather was perfect, it was dry, but still humid and slippery in the forest. So I hope it doesn't rain for the World Cup."
Austrian champion Elisabeth Osl seemed as good as invincible and won the women's race ahead of Slovenian Nina Homovec and Slovak Janka Stevkova.
Filip Polc won the downhill final ahead of a strong international field. "A good race in nice conditions," said Polc afterward before commenting on the track. "The course is not too long so a clear run is even more important here. While it was grippy and very fast in the dry it will be hard in wet because of all the roots."
The track, with 450 metres in elevation drop, is very similar to the local classic one near the top but is completely new towards the bottom. Austrian Petra Bernhard won the women's downhill.
"I don't remember the old course all that well and I was riding a different bike so I can't compare them," noted Polc, who placed 14th in the downhill at the 2006 World Championships. "I remember the old one was ahead of its time and this one is similar to what we ride in the World Cup these days."