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Olympic course gets more technical

When it comes to the Olympic mountain bike course, everyone's been talking about pollution as a potential major influencing factor - especially after last fall's test event saw many racers drop out. But in the meantime, the UCI has been working to make the course more technical.

Two of the governing body's experts, Mountain Bike Sports Coordinator Peter Van den Abeele and 4X Designer Phil Saxena, visited Beijing from May 8 to 15 to finalize details of the course for the Olympic Games in August. Van den Abeele said racers would encounter a more technical and more physical course than the one they rode at the test event in September.

Dutch racer Bart Brentjens previously described the 4.3 km with circuit with 250m of climbing per lap. "The course has small steep climbs and not too technical descents...a good course for 'power' riders like me."

Since then, five new sections have been added and five others have been made more technical. Cameras have also been installed along the course so that Beijing Olympic Broadcasting will be able to capture all the action.

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