SEB Tartu Rattamaraton coming up this weekend

Mountain bike marathon draws over 5,000 participants

The Estonian mountain bike marathon, SEB Tartu Rattamaraton, a UCI category 1 race, broke its record number of registered participants for 2010. The second largest mountain bike marathon in the world has nearly 5300 racers from 13 countries signed up for the 40 and 89km distances with only 200 starting places left. The 13th edition of the race will be held in beautiful and variable landscape of Southern Estonia on Saturday, September 19.

A day before the main event, a mountain bike sprint for elite riders will take place. Special races for the children will also be held. Organizers predict more than 2000 kids will participate, which make the event biggest of its kind in the world.

Allan Oras, who won European Marathon Championships on the same course last year, predicts an interesting day for both professionals and amateurs.

"If the weather is good, then the track will be quite fast and since the race is very prestigious among many good riders, the competition for the first place will be quite tough," said Oras. Even though he ended his career as a professional last year, he will still be on the starting line fighting for a top finish.

Oras will have to compete with many other riders from Estonia and abroad. Most of the foreign rides are coming from Latvia (nearly 400), Lithuania, Russia and Finland but people are also finding their way to the Tartu Rattamaraton from much further places like Canada and Ireland.

For more information on the event, visit www.tartumaraton.ee.

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