Spain's three-time world champion Margarita Fullana has confirmed that she will be competing in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, at the opening round of the 2009 UCI World Cup in April.
The pint-sized (1.59m, 50kg) Spaniard is one of the most successful female cross country racers of all time and will be one of the biggest names among the women competing at the event, which runs from April 10-12.
In 2008, Fullana finished on the podium at two rounds of the nine-event World Cup series, with victory at round four in Andorra. She also claimed her third world championship title in Italy, to go with her previous world titles in 1999 and 2000.
The 36-year-old Spaniard was also the European champion in 2006 and won the bronze medal the 2000 Olympic Games.
"It's the start of what we expect to be a flood of big name entrants," said Event Director Alec Lenferna. "It's the first round of this year's UCI World Cup, and it's in South Africa, a new venue, which has attracted much interest. We're expecting the biggest names in mountain bike racing to be here in April."