Merida Bike Vysocina takes stage racers to Czech

Three-day mountain bike event kicking off on June 4

The third edition of the Merida Bike Vysocina Festival is coming up on June 4-6 in Nové Mesto na Morave. This year's main attraction, a category S1 race, will cover three stages and three days. The cross country stage, to be held on Saturday, will also double as part of the Czech National Mountain Bike Cup.

An 800m sprint stage will start the action on Friday evening. The cross country stage is Saturday, on a 4.1km-lap course, followed by a point-to-point marathon stage on Sunday. The final stage will be handicapped at the start based on the cumulative results from the previous two stages.

Czech racers Tereza Hurikova, Jaroslav Kulhavy and cyclo-cross World Champion Zdenek Stybar will be racing against international stars like Jose Antonio Hermida, Ralph Näf, Rudi Van Houts, Adam Craig, Gunn Rita Dahle Flesjaa, Cedric and Cecile Ravanel and the Polish team led by Anna Szafraniec.

Last year, Hermida and Hurikova won the cross country race, which was then a UCI cat. 2 event.

The weekend of racing will be broadcast on Czech television, using 20 cameras, and racers' positions will be tracked in real time by an online GPS tracking system.

Organizers of the Merida Bike Vysocina have submitted an application to the UCI to host a World Cup in 2011. Should the bid be successful, it would be the first time in 14 years that the World Cup is held in Czech.

For more information on the event, visit www.bikevysocina.cz.

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