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The start of the elite men's race at the 2012 German national championships in Bad Säckingen
European favorites line up for cross country opener this weekend
Bad Säckingen is hosting the Gold Trophy, the opening round of the 2013 International MTB-Bundesliga this coming Easter weekend on March 31 to April 1. In addition to drawing some of Europe's top elite cross country mountain bike stars, the southwest German town will also be hosting a round of the brand new new U23 and juniors European Cup.
Two-time world champion Irina Kalentieva (Topeak Erogon) is among the women attending the German national series opener. She and former marathon world champion Esther Süss (Wheeler-iXS) will take on former world champ and local Sabine Spitz (Haibike), racing in the town where she was born.
Matthias Flückiger (Stöckli) is among the men's favorites, and he'll be racing riders like Swiss rival Giger (Giant Pro XC).
Bad Säckingen hosted the German national championships in 2012. For that event, a new course was constructed, and after receiving rave reviews from the 1,000 racers participating in its first test, it will be used again this weekend.
The Gold Trophy's name was inspired by Bejing Olympic Gold medallist Spitz.
The new European Cup for U23s and juniors also includes the Sunshine race in Nals, Italy, the Ötztal Mountainbike Festival in Haiming and the Graz Bike-Opening, both in Austria.
Due to the Easter holidays, the organisation committee will not be running the eliminator race that is usually part of the International MTB-Bundesliga series, but it hopes to run one in future years.
The U23 and junior racers will compete on Sunday while the elite racers will compete on Monday.
For more information, visit www.goldtophy-sabinespitz.de.