MTB World Cup XCO course stands up against the elements

Pietermaritzburg – Cross country course designer Nick Floros has given his new layout the all clear following the torrential rainstorm that lashed the Cascades MTB Park last week, and has enthused at how well it coped with the rain.

The flash storm that hit the base of Town Hill last Sunday dumped 150 millimetres of rain inside 90 minutes, with some unconfirmed reports from the Chase Valley area recording over 200 millimetres in the same period.

The Town Bush stream burst its banks, trashing much of the trials course that was built for last year’s UCI MTB and Trials World Championships and flooding the car park above the Cascades Mall.

The flash flood subsided overnight and, while it caused some damage to the tarred parking lot, Floros was pleased to see that the course that he has prepared for the UCI MTB World Cup presented by Shimano from 11 to 13 April had survived the ravages of the storm.

“The trails actually held up very well,” said Floros, who opted out of duties as a commissaire at the ABSA Cape Epic to stay in Pietermaritzburg to look after the final preparations of the Cascades layout for the World Cup. “While there was a lot of rainfall, the damage was not severe at all.”

Floros has boldly redesigned the cross country track for Pietermaritzburg’s World Cup clash after retaining the same basic layout for the 2011 and 2012 World Cup as well as last year’s World Championships.

Elite mountain bikers were concerned the newly cut trails that have not yet been compacted by regular riding would have been vulnerable to heavy erosion during the storm.

“Much of the new World Cup course was used for the Masters last year so the tracks were well established and held up well to the rainfall,” said Floros. “The new sections that have been cut are by and large pretty short, and they have not been badly affected by the storm.”

The post-storm report was heartening for Floros as the mandatory Environmental Impact Assessment has highlighted the soil erosion risk posed by heavy rainfall on the man-made trails.

Floros has worked extensively on the redesign of the cross country course to challenge the elite mountain bikers from around the world, while at the same time improving the course visibility for spectators.

The UCI MTB World Cup, presented by Shimano, takes place at the Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg from 11-13 April 2014. More information can be found at www.mtbworldcupsa.co.za

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Renowned course designer Nick Floros is satisfied with how the newly designed cross country course for the 2014 UCI MTB World Cup Pietermaritzburg, presented by Shimano, withstood the torrential downpour Cascades MTB Park received last week and is confident the route will be ready for action ahead of the international showcase which takes place in PMB from 11 to 13 April. Darren Goddard/Gameplan Media

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