Skip to main content

Gallery: Mountain Bike Worlds comes to Africa for the first time

Image 1 of 68

Jose Hermida (Spain) on a climb

Jose Hermida (Spain) on a climb
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 2 of 68

Switzerland's Andrea Waldis is looking forward to her first competition in South Africa

Switzerland's Andrea Waldis is looking forward to her first competition in South Africa
(Image credit: Dave Macleod / Gameplan Media)
Image 3 of 68

South Africa's William Makgopo successfully negotiates one of the many technical sections of the cross country course

South Africa's William Makgopo successfully negotiates one of the many technical sections of the cross country course
(Image credit: Dave Macleod / Gameplan Media)
Image 4 of 68

Japan's Shohei Nishida was one of a few to take a bit of a tumble during Tuesday's training session

Japan's Shohei Nishida was one of a few to take a bit of a tumble during Tuesday's training session
(Image credit: Dave Macleod / Gameplan Media)
Image 5 of 68

France's Raphael Gay heads down the widened Rapid Rocks rock garden during training

France's Raphael Gay heads down the widened Rapid Rocks rock garden during training
(Image credit: Dave Macleod / Gameplan Media)
Image 6 of 68

New Zealand's Samuel Gaze charges off a jump during training

New Zealand's Samuel Gaze charges off a jump during training
(Image credit: Dave Macleod / Gameplan Media)
Image 7 of 68

Pre-race favourite to take the men's cross country title, Switzerland's Nino Schurter, feels the track is both technical and slippery

Pre-race favourite to take the men's cross country title, Switzerland's Nino Schurter, feels the track is both technical and slippery
(Image credit: Dave Macleod / Gameplan Media)
Image 8 of 68

South Africa's Luthando Fatyi becomes one with the ground as he takes a tumble during training

South Africa's Luthando Fatyi becomes one with the ground as he takes a tumble during training
(Image credit: Dave Macleod / Gameplan Media)
Image 9 of 68

South Africa's Melanie Palframan even has time for a smile during training

South Africa's Melanie Palframan even has time for a smile during training
(Image credit: Dave Macleod / Gameplan Media)
Image 10 of 68

South Africa's under 23 men's cross country star Luke Roberts hopes his local course knowledge will stand him in good stead

South Africa's under 23 men's cross country star Luke Roberts hopes his local course knowledge will stand him in good stead
(Image credit: Dave Macleod / Gameplan Media)
Image 11 of 68

Italy's Gioelel Bertolini tackles the new Buck Jump alley section of the cross country course

Italy's Gioelel Bertolini tackles the new Buck Jump alley section of the cross country course
(Image credit: Dave Macleod / Gameplan Media)
Image 12 of 68

Austria's Felix Ritzinger gets to know the course during training

Austria's Felix Ritzinger gets to know the course during training
(Image credit: Dave Macleod / Gameplan Media)
Image 13 of 68

Eva Lechner of Italy makes light work of Rapid Rocks rock garden during day one of training

Eva Lechner of Italy makes light work of Rapid Rocks rock garden during day one of training
(Image credit: Dave Macleod / Gameplan Media)
Image 14 of 68

A winding climb early in the cross country course.

A winding climb early in the cross country course.
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 15 of 68

The downhill start house.

The downhill start house.
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 16 of 68

A small drop early on the downhill course.

A small drop early on the downhill course.
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 17 of 68

The ground is hard packed and cracking in the heat.

The ground is hard packed and cracking in the heat.
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 18 of 68

This sign advises riders of an upcoming tricky section

This sign advises riders of an upcoming tricky section
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 19 of 68

This steep, rocky drop is the most technical part of the downhill course. There are a few lines from which to chose. One rider looks over the edge during the track walk.

This steep, rocky drop is the most technical part of the downhill course. There are a few lines from which to chose. One rider looks over the edge during the track walk.
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 20 of 68

A drop-off on the downhill course.

A drop-off on the downhill course.
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 21 of 68

Much of the downhill course is hard packed and fast.

Much of the downhill course is hard packed and fast.
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 22 of 68

A view of Pietermaritzburg from the downhill course.

A view of Pietermaritzburg from the downhill course.
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 23 of 68

A sign advised caution near the Dr. Evil section. We wonder if there is any connection with the Dr. Evil who designs the Cape Epic courses.

A sign advised caution near the Dr. Evil section. We wonder if there is any connection with the Dr. Evil who designs the Cape Epic courses.
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 24 of 68

A long straight, pedalling section on the downhill course, with a view of Pietermaritzburg.

A long straight, pedalling section on the downhill course, with a view of Pietermaritzburg.
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 25 of 68

Riders queue up on the cross country course at a rock garden to watch each other's lines

Riders queue up on the cross country course at a rock garden to watch each other's lines
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 26 of 68

A rider sits far back on his bike to cope with the steep, downhill rocky section

A rider sits far back on his bike to cope with the steep, downhill rocky section
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 27 of 68

The MTB Worlds courses run through a tree plantation. Here is where some logging recently occurred.

The MTB Worlds courses run through a tree plantation. Here is where some logging recently occurred.
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 28 of 68

Logging atop the downhill Worlds course.

Logging atop the downhill Worlds course.
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 29 of 68

Much of the cross country and downhill courses feature smooth sections like this.

Much of the cross country and downhill courses feature smooth sections like this.
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 30 of 68

Pick your line: A, B or C!

Pick your line: A, B or C!
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 31 of 68

Sharka's playground challenges riders with both steepness and log drop-offs.

Sharka's playground challenges riders with both steepness and log drop-offs.
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 32 of 68

The African sun beats down on this uphill section of the cross country course. Heat could play a role in the mid-day races.

The African sun beats down on this uphill section of the cross country course. Heat could play a role in the mid-day races.
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 33 of 68

The MTB Worlds course runs through a tree plantation of gum and eucalyptus trees.

The MTB Worlds course runs through a tree plantation of gum and eucalyptus trees.
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 34 of 68

Most of the women riders, even the elites, commented that the technical sections gave them pause during their first day of training. They certainly look intimidating from the top.

Most of the women riders, even the elites, commented that the technical sections gave them pause during their first day of training. They certainly look intimidating from the top.
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 35 of 68

A German rider and her coach walk through the Treehouse Rock Garden section of the cross country course.

A German rider and her coach walk through the Treehouse Rock Garden section of the cross country course.
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 36 of 68

The Treehouse is a famous rock garden section on the cross country course.

The Treehouse is a famous rock garden section on the cross country course.
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 37 of 68

The Corkscrew is the name of one steep, technical section on the cross country course. A TV camera will be set up on this platform.

The Corkscrew is the name of one steep, technical section on the cross country course. A TV camera will be set up on this platform.
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 38 of 68

The cross country racers will finish under this 2013 MTB Worlds banner.

The cross country racers will finish under this 2013 MTB Worlds banner.
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 39 of 68

The eliminator will be run through this section, with three different lines to be taped off.

The eliminator will be run through this section, with three different lines to be taped off.
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 40 of 68

A person checks out the Rapid Rocks section of the cross country course on the day before riding the course is allowed.

A person checks out the Rapid Rocks section of the cross country course on the day before riding the course is allowed.
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 41 of 68

A crowd watches a rider from the top of a rock garden near the start/finish.

A crowd watches a rider from the top of a rock garden near the start/finish.
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 42 of 68

Katerina Nash (Czech Republic)

Katerina Nash (Czech Republic)
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 43 of 68

Racers practice at Sharka's playground

Racers practice at Sharka's playground
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 44 of 68

U23 rider Jenny Rissveds (Sweden) during training

U23 rider Jenny Rissveds (Sweden) during training
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 45 of 68

Tanja Zakelj (Slovenia) has made her mark on the World Cup circuit this season.

Tanja Zakelj (Slovenia) has made her mark on the World Cup circuit this season.
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 46 of 68

Sofia Wiedenroth (Germany) will race with the junior women.

Sofia Wiedenroth (Germany) will race with the junior women.
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 47 of 68

Alexandra Engen (Sweden) will race eliminator, cross country and the team relay

Alexandra Engen (Sweden) will race eliminator, cross country and the team relay
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 48 of 68

William Makgopo (South Africa) during training

William Makgopo (South Africa) during training
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 49 of 68

Lena Putz (Germany) practices her line through a rock garden

Lena Putz (Germany) practices her line through a rock garden
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 50 of 68

Neilson Powless (USA) practices one of the rock gardens.

Neilson Powless (USA) practices one of the rock gardens.
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 51 of 68

Zebra and leopard painted features give the trials course a South African flavor

Zebra and leopard painted features give the trials course a South African flavor
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 52 of 68

The trials venue is next to the expo area for easy good spectating

The trials venue is next to the expo area for easy good spectating
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 53 of 68

Burry Stander is not far from anyone's thoughts. This memorial is the first thing you see upon entering the Worlds venue

Burry Stander is not far from anyone's thoughts. This memorial is the first thing you see upon entering the Worlds venue
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 54 of 68

This memorial garden pays tributed to Burry Stander, who was killed after being hit by a taxi while training in January.

This memorial garden pays tributed to Burry Stander, who was killed after being hit by a taxi while training in January.
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 55 of 68

Irene Lizbeth FLores (Mexico) approaches a decision point - line A, B or C?

Irene Lizbeth FLores (Mexico) approaches a decision point - line A, B or C?
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 56 of 68

Sharka's Playground made many racers stop and think twice about the best line.

Sharka's Playground made many racers stop and think twice about the best line.
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 57 of 68

Kerry Werner (USA) catches some air on small jumps on the course

Kerry Werner (USA) catches some air on small jumps on the course
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 58 of 68

Neilson Powless (USA) on a portion of the course that is for both the cross country and the eliminator

Neilson Powless (USA) on a portion of the course that is for both the cross country and the eliminator
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 59 of 68

An Italian rider on the pump track

An Italian rider on the pump track
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 60 of 68

An Italian rider plays on the pump track.

An Italian rider plays on the pump track.
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 61 of 68

Peter Disera (Canada)

Peter Disera (Canada)
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 62 of 68

Mary McConneloug and Mike Broderick (USA) on a climb

Mary McConneloug and Mike Broderick (USA) on a climb
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 63 of 68

Manuel Fumic (Germany) during training

Manuel Fumic (Germany) during training
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 64 of 68

Todd Wells (USA) gets in some pre-riding

Todd Wells (USA) gets in some pre-riding
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 65 of 68

An American rider on a singletrack climb on the second half of the cross country course

An American rider on a singletrack climb on the second half of the cross country course
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 66 of 68

Sofia Wiedenroth (Germany) on a climb.

Sofia Wiedenroth (Germany) on a climb.
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 67 of 68

US cross country national champion Stephen Ettinger (USA)

US cross country national champion Stephen Ettinger (USA)
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
Image 68 of 68

Lene Byberg (Norway) practices some jumps on the XC course. She was the only rider spotted running a lap the day prior.

Lene Byberg (Norway) practices some jumps on the XC course. She was the only rider spotted running a lap the day prior.
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)

The racing at the 2013 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa will begin on Wednesday with the team relay cross country, with four riders from each nation taking a turn on the cross country course. On Tuesday, the cross country courses opened for training for all categories while the junior gravity riders also got their first crack at the downhill course.

Cyclingnews took a walk around the venue checking out both courses and the venue as racers arrived from around the globe and started to find their lines.

"It's really a world championship [cross country] course. There is a little bit of everything for everybody. There are some flats, some steep uphills, some steep downhills. It's pretty good," said former cross country world champion Jose Hermida (Spain) to Cyclingnews.

The eliminator course will not be set up until later in the week since part of it is used in the cross country races held through Saturday; however, a walk-through of the intended course revealed that all of it will be on dirt through the main part of the venue; unlike last year's eliminator Worlds course, which was on pavement and concrete through a downtown area.

After successfully running UCI Mountain Bike World Cup events in recent years and the UCI Masters Mountain Bike World Championships last week, Pietermaritzburg is hosting the world championships for the first time.  It is also the first time the MTB Worlds has ever been run in Africa.

Click here to check out the gallery.