Course construction is progressing well for the 2013 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, which will open in Albstadt, Germany on May 17-19th. It will be the first time Albstadt has hosted a World Cup, although the venue has previously hosted German national series events.
Preparations for the season opener are in full swing, especially for the course, for which Holger Blum is responsible.
Blum has been working all out to create the new World Cup course since organizers did not find out from the UCI until the late fall of 2012 that they would be hosting a World Cup round. Work began on the course before Christmas, despite the winter weather.
An additional uphill and downhill section have been added to the German national series course. Another new loop features a rock garden designed by Mark Ringle, and the infamous Bull Climb. A portion of the course, previously leading to the high point, has been eliminated.
"The technical sections should be challenging, but they won't be too extreme," said Blum, who also owns a bike park in Tailfingen City and is the 2006 German senior downhill champion. "There are some jumps, but have not exaggerated them. We wanted the course to have a nice flow, that's the most important criterion."
To create more flow, Blum added a few small banked turns on the new downhill section.
What's next is to pack the soil so that the course will hold up well in any weather. "It's not that simple on the clay soil of the Swabian Alb," said Blum, "but we'll get through this."
A 3D profile of the course can be viewed at www.albstadt-mtb-classic.de. The exact distance, altitude, and GPS data of the course will be available as soon as the work is completed.
The UCI World Cup was last held in Offenburg, Germany in 2011. Germany did not host a MTB World Cup in 2012.