All Lights Are Green For The Opening Round of the UCI MTB World Cup9. March 2018, Stellenbosch, South Africa — Melanie Leveau — MTB Team
Unusually early in the year, the UCI MTB World Cup kicks off this Saturday in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Known as THE hub of mountain biking, Stellenbosch offers pleasant weather, great trails and lifestyle all year round. The World Cup returns to the South African destination for the first time since the 90’s but this time for a XCO race much to the delight of the four riders of the BMC MTB Racing Team.
A couple of weeks after the Cyprus Sunshine Cup, things are getting serious with the first of the seven rounds of the World Cup taking place this weekend. Strong of a successful winter that saw him claim a second Swiss National title in cyclo-cross and of a win in Cyprus, Lars Forster landed in South Africa with legitimate ambitions. “I feel good and ready. I usually have a break after the cyclo-cross season but didn’t this time because of the early start of the season. I’ll try to surf on my good shape and will have a rest after Stellenbosch.” After a first training session on the course, Forster recons it will be “fast and dusty” and that the little options to pass will make for a crucial start.
Second of the XCO stage at the Cyprus Sunshine Cup, Titouan Carod is also looking forward to Saturday. Used to the warm temperatures, the Frenchman counts on his great start to bring a good result home. “I recovered well after Cyprus. I’m feeling good and the motivation is high!”
Suffering with a cold at the beginning of the Cyprus Sunshine Cup, Reto Indergand couldn’t test himself as well as he had wished. “I was getting better stage after stage and the end result wasn’t too bad. I believe my shape is good and my training my winter was optimal to do well here in Stellenbosch but let’s see on Saturday!”
Also present in the U23 race with Filippo Colombo
For the first time since a few years, the BMC MTB Racing Team won’t only be present in the Elite ranks but also will also have a rider in the U23 event. Colombo, current Swiss Champion and winner of the 2017 Proffix Swiss Bike Cup, is excited about the new season. “I’m not part of the Swiss army so had the chance to train like a pro for the very first time so I’m looking forward to seeing the outcome.”
The action starts at 10:15AM (local time) on Saturday for Colombo and at 2:50PM for the Elite riders.
Photo credit: Irmo Keizer