Organisers of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in the Czech Republic announced last week the full details of the Tabor race course, presenting a circuit which is challenging for the racers but accessible for fans.
The course is similar to that used in previous World Cup races, but adds several new elements thanks to input from Czech stars Radomir Simunek and Zdenek Stybar.
The circuit measures 3,320m in length plus a 695m starting loop on a paved oval, passing by a new building erected for the race to house the UCI officials and provide showers for the racers.
Racers will begin with a mad dash on the paved oval before plunging headlong into the dirt where they will encounter the first challenge, a tight S-turn, one of two named after Simunek and Stybar, which goes up, over and back down a small berm.
The riders then exit the oval and head out to tackle a lung-busting route through the meadow, taking full advantage of the available topography.
The first climb includes the first dismount, with a series of steps preceding the crest of the hill, and an off-camber right-hand U-turn heading into a rather technical descent.
Long straightaways allow for riders to power through the second part of the meadow, interrupted only by a set of barriers before they will encounter the second S-turn, a fly-over, another climb, and then a sinuous descent back to the finish line.
"The course seems very interesting to me," said Stybar. "It is little bit different but it definitely meets all requirements for a World Championship. It will be very attractive for spectators. It is well arranged, and spectators will know what is going on on the course. For us racers, it will be a very difficult, but fair course."
Come January, if the course is frozen it will be a fast race well-suited to powerful riders like Stybar and women's World Champion Marianne Vos. However, given the multitude of off-camber turns, it could prove much more difficult if the surface is wet and muddy, and would play into the hands of current World Champion Niels Albert and women's World Cup leader Katie Compton.
The UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships take place January 30th for the junior and under 23 men and January 31st for the elite men and women.
Cyclingnews.com is the official online media partner for the 2010 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships. For more information on the course, including video animations, visit the race website.
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