Gran Canaria set for 2008

The Elite Men's field takes off.

The Elite Men's field takes off. (Image credit: MTB World Cup)

The fourth annual Marathon MTB Open Gran Canaria has been confirmed for March 8, 2008, one week prior to the first UCI Mountain Bike World Cup.

"The 38 kilometer long semi-marathon covers the same route as in 2006, from Parque del Sur in Maspalomas to Ayagaures and back through the valley. The long route with 92 kilometres distance contains parts of the 2005 marathon course which boasts stunning landscapes, great downhills and challenging climbs, however next year we ride it the other way around," said organizer Petra Wonisch. "It also includes the unique single trail from Chira Dam down to the valley. Our route partly leads through nature reserves. After crossing Tablero the riders head back to our fiesta at Parque del Sur in Maspalomas."

The MTB Open Gran Canaria serves as one of the season-opening fitness tests for many top pros, and many pros and amateurs come early for a training camp. Next year, the race will again award the Fabian Wonisch Trophy. The trophy was created in memory of Wonisch's mountain bike enthusiast son who was killed 2005 in a tragic road accident. After her son's death, Wonisch established a trust which aims to get children into mountain biking and educate them about road safety at the same time. Equipment donations are being accepted year-round to support the trust's mountain bike school.

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