Words: Ben Thomas of Mountain Trax – Vauxhall Motors
This time tomorrow the 2013 World Marathon Championships will be underway and the riders will be racing up the Gaisberg mountain – the first of 4 big climbs.
The Worlds race is part of the Kitzalp Bike Festival, which takes place here in Kirchberg Austria every year. Events began here on Wednesday and continue until Sunday evening. The main attraction is the Marathon event, which attracts thousands of competitors but only 139 men and 66 women are lucky enough to be representing their country and racing the Worlds.
I’ve been here since Tuesday lunchtime and have spent the last 3 days riding most of the course. The mountains really are something special, the area is definitely worth a visit either for the cycling or just for a family holiday.
Yesterday I rode the final descent, which is basically 10 kilometres of slippery rooty sketchy fun! It was fairly muddy in places even after a day of dry weather, its rained a fair amount over night so should be interesting for tomorrows race.
It’s going to be a tough race with 4400 metres of climbing within the 95 kilometres distance. Great Britain have a strong team with 4 female riders consisting of Sally Bigham, Jane Nussli, Catherine Williamson and Rachel Fenton and 1 male rider being me!
The ladies are having a super strong year and Sally won the Kitzalp marathon last year so hopefully one of the Brits will be on the podium Saturday afternoon.
Finally, here’s the official (slightly over-dramatic) event preview video from the KitzAlpBike Festival:
Stay tuned for more from the Marathon World Champs as the event progresses.