So Saturday early morning Silvio and I drove to Graz to join the Austrian National team to pre-ride the course for worlds. We spent two days there and on Saturday rode the first three quaters, then Sunday we rode some more of day1 and the rest of day2.
The verdict, hectic. It starts with a tar climb, 29% where your rear wheel even slips on the tarmac. Then you head into the forests for a never ending maze of singletrack trails, littered with slippery roots and wet rocks. I´m not sure which is more slippery, the roots or rocks? Although I did crash on the roots, the technical sections are all fairly short, 1-2km but come thick and fast. The longest climb will be near the end of the course, and will take around 50minutes to ride. The full suspension is the only choice for this course. The descents I have more control, but will not risk the chance of going too fast and crashing, but the rough climbs are where the big difference comes in.
After this climb, the final descent is about 10km, really tough, extremely technical. There is also two portage sections where you need to litterally climb with the bike for about 5-7minutes each. The forest sections are incredibly humid, around 90% humidity, so much so that the rocks ´sweat` and thats what makes them so slippery, I almost think it will be better if it rains!
The winner of this race will be well worthy of the title of World Champion, thats for sure. It has been good to see these sections, make some tire changes and prepare mentally for the physical challenge that awaits us.
Silvio has organized two people to feed us as there are 7 feed zones on the route, and so we should be well looked after. Only the minor matter of accreditation is left!
We will travel back to Graz on Saturday, race is Sunday, 10:30 start.
Till then, thanks and ciao.