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Photo gallery: A walk around the MTB Worlds cross country course

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A scenic view at the mountain bike world championships in Champery, Switzerland.

A scenic view at the mountain bike world championships in Champery, Switzerland. (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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The German team checks out part of the trials course and yes, it IS in a stream.

The German team checks out part of the trials course and yes, it IS in a stream. (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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This section of the trials course takes advantage of natural features - in this case a stream and its rocks

This section of the trials course takes advantage of natural features - in this case a stream and its rocks (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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The bike wash station is an important part of the world championships venue

The bike wash station is an important part of the world championships venue (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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A rider flies over some roots in the Snake Pit. The light through the trees can make it more difficult to pick lines

A rider flies over some roots in the Snake Pit. The light through the trees can make it more difficult to pick lines (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Too bad racers won't have time to enjoy the scenery - maybe they can sneak some glimpses during their practice laps.

Too bad racers won't have time to enjoy the scenery - maybe they can sneak some glimpses during their practice laps. (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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The Champery course has rocks, too.

The Champery course has rocks, too. (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Even the moto drivers were practicing their lines. This driver makes the u-turn at the top of a steep, fireroad climb onto rooty singletrack.

Even the moto drivers were practicing their lines. This driver makes the u-turn at the top of a steep, fireroad climb onto rooty singletrack. (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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The mountains offer plenty of eye candy.

The mountains offer plenty of eye candy. (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Swiss chalets are everywhere on the mountainsides.

Swiss chalets are everywhere on the mountainsides. (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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The tech support and feed zone area the day before the race.

The tech support and feed zone area the day before the race. (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Part of the cross country course winds through a fitness course with signs like these suggesting what can be done en route.

Part of the cross country course winds through a fitness course with signs like these suggesting what can be done en route. (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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A rooty section. The UCI marks the roots with spray paint though on a course like this, it's hard to mark them all.

A rooty section. The UCI marks the roots with spray paint though on a course like this, it's hard to mark them all. (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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In many places, there are two or three lines racers can take.

In many places, there are two or three lines racers can take. (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized) flies through one of the few smooth sections.

Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized) flies through one of the few smooth sections. (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Lots of roots mean racers will have to constantly pay attention and yes, they are slippery when wet.

Lots of roots mean racers will have to constantly pay attention and yes, they are slippery when wet. (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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One of the few buff singletrack sections. The course is very green with lots of tree canopy, low foliage and moss.

One of the few buff singletrack sections. The course is very green with lots of tree canopy, low foliage and moss. (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Jaroslav Kulhavy in a blur as he does practice laps at the same time of day as his race will be... the later afternoon.

Jaroslav Kulhavy in a blur as he does practice laps at the same time of day as his race will be... the later afternoon. (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Jaroslav Kulhavy will ride a dual suspension 29er.

Jaroslav Kulhavy will ride a dual suspension 29er. (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Jaroslav Kulhavy just starts to drop in on one of the steep sections.

Jaroslav Kulhavy just starts to drop in on one of the steep sections. (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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A river along the course

A river along the course (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Krista Park looks on while another rider does the A-line at Hell's Gate

Krista Park looks on while another rider does the A-line at Hell's Gate (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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A look over the edge caused many riders to give pause on the A line at Hell's Gate.

A look over the edge caused many riders to give pause on the A line at Hell's Gate. (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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A rider stands next to a rather tall jump on the A-line at Hell's Gate

A rider stands next to a rather tall jump on the A-line at Hell's Gate (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Riders tended to cluster at the top of the technical sections and discuss amongst themselves.

Riders tended to cluster at the top of the technical sections and discuss amongst themselves. (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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The podium is ready.

The podium is ready. (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Organizers were still setting up the finish line on Tuesday afternoon.

Organizers were still setting up the finish line on Tuesday afternoon. (Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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The Swiss Alps

The Swiss Alps (Image credit: Daniel Simms)

The UCI Mountain Bike World Championships will get under way on Wednesday afternoon in Champery, Switzerland, with the junior women's cross country race and the team relay cross country.  That meant Tuesday was a good day to ride the course.  Cyclingnews spotted many riders out doing laps of what is considered to be a generally technical course.  

What makes the Champery course technical is the abundance of roots and rocks and some steep drop offs, including an option for an A-line jump at one point on the course.  Riders often have several singletrack-type lines through wooded sections from which to chose.

Add in some recent moisture and as of Tuesday evening, the course was damp in places, which only made some of the rooty and rocky sections that much more slippery.

During the pre-ride time on the just over 4km course, riders gathered to look at the drops and discuss the best approaches.  While pros like World Cup winner Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized) blasted over the drops like they were nothing, other riders had to step up their courage to launch themselves on steep, downhill lines that were sometimes not very visible upon the approach.

Cyclingnews spotted US Under 23 Women's National Champion Jill Behlan repeating the Hell's Gate B-line steep downhill while she taught herself the just how much speed to scrub and how much to carry.  Behlan said she was getting more comfortable with the ongoing practice.

Another American on the elite women's team, Krista Park, practiced the Hell's Gate A and B lines over and over again until she finally nailed the A-line.  The B-line also contains a steep drop, but it the kind you can roll over while the A line requires a jump.  Park said she does not yet know if she will do the A-line in the race and that she is interested to see which women will ride it.