Current World Cup cross-country leader Jaroslav Kulhavy officially opened the new course in his home country of the Czech Repbulic this past weekend.
The Specialized Racing rider, who has won three World Cup races on his Epic 29er this year, lives less than an hour away from Nove Mesto Na Morave, site of the second-to-last race of the season on Aug. 14.
The 4km course features rocks, roots, jumps and “North Shore” bridges. UCI officials will decide three days prior to the race how many laps racers will do, but it will likely be 7 or 8 at about 12 minutes per lap.
Kulhavy said the course is not only a test of fitness, but also riders’ technical abilities.
“I would compare it to Offenburg and Champéry,” he said. “It’s not as extreme as [Mont Ste. Anne, Quebec], which is good. A lot of people had problems there, especially the women.”
As far as the World Cup overall, Kulhavy said he doesn’t need to win the Nove Mesto race as long as he beats Nino Schurter (Scott-SwissPower). After the race in the Czech Republic, the World Cup moves to Val di Sole, Italy on Aug. 20-21 and then the mountain bike world championships in Switzerland Aug. 31 through Sept. 4.