For the first time in the history of the UCI MTB World Championships, the masters’ and elite events will be held at the same venue, and event organiser Alec Lenferna says that it will be quite a number of years before this happens in South Africa again.

“This is important for our riders and spectators to be involved as the world championships is way bigger than the world cup events we have previously hosted, and way more important. The championships won’t be back in SA for many, many years.”

The Masters’ Champs will include XCO and downhill (DHI) races and the Elite Champs will include XCO, DHI, cross-country eliminator (XCE), XCO Team Relay & Trials events.

The rainbow stripe jersey that the Masters will be racing for - the ultimate prize in mountain bike racing.

“This is the first time that Masters riders have the opportunity to ride the event on their home continent and all those that are able to should try and take up the option, even those that currently ride marathon races,” continued Lenferna. “Masters riders who enter the 2013 World Championship XCO or DHI events will have first option to enter the 2014 UCI MTB Marathon World Champs in Pietermaritzburg as well – this is pertinent as the Marathon Champs entries will be limited.”

Even if people are not riding, every effort should be made to get to the Elite World Champs, especially those that are based in KwaZulu-Natal. Not only will spectators be watching the live action as it unfolds, but they will be showing support for our local competitors as well.

Online entries for the Masters world champs is open and riders can enter by visiting this web link.

The courses for the elite and masters races will soon be marked with colour-coded demarcations and is open to those who wish to ride it.

The 2013 UCI MTB Masters World Champs will be staged at the Cascades MTB Park, the same venue as the 2013 UCI MTB & Trials World Championships, from 21 – 25 August 2013. The 2013 UCI MTB & Trials World Championships will be staged from 26 August – 1 September 2013.

Public entry spectator tickets for the Elite championship event are now available online at the event website www.mtbworldchamps.co.za - entry into the venue will only be charged for Friday, Saturday and Sunday attendance of the final weekend.

For all detailed race event information, please visit the official event website: www.mtbworldchamps.co.za.

UCI Masters World Champs FAQ:

Q: Where can I find all event info – for both events – including competition schedules?

A: Event website is www.mtbworldchamps.co.za

Q: How old do I have to be to enter Masters?

A: The UCI MTB Masters World Championships is open to men and women of 30 years and older, as at 31st Dec 2013

Q: Do I need to qualify to take part in the event?

A: There is no qualification process to compete in the UCI MTB Masters World Championships and entries are open to all competitors 30 years and older as at 31 as at 31st Dec 2013. However, no rider may compete it they have UCI points in the year of the competition – the event is aimed at amateur riders only. If you have any confusion about your status, please check with your national federation. There is qualification for the Elite Champs and the national federation will be able to let people know what they need to do in order to compete.

Q: Are there different courses for the Masters and the Elite World Championships? Will I need to ride the same course as the pros?

A: Both the Cross Country and Downhill courses for the Masters event are different. The Masters XCO course is significantly different and longer and a lot less technical than the course for the Elite competition whilst still being challenging enough to ensure a worthy winner is found in each age category. The Downhill course is also less technical than the Elite course with smaller jumps but follows the same gradients and basic route as what the pros will race the following week.

Q: I normally only ride XC Marathon events. Will I be able to handle the XCO course?

A: Yes – with some practice in the “short course” format, you will be able to ride the course. The way that Nick Floros has designed the course is that everyone with a base skill level and confidence should be able to ride the course and have a good time – the challenge comes in with regards to how quickly you ride the course.

Q: How does it work – does everyone ride together?

A: The Masters competitions are staged per age category with five-year increments – i.e. 30 – 34, 35 – 39, 40 – 44 etc so you will compete against riders in the same five year spread as yourself. However, more than one category competition may be staged at the same time and depending on how many entrants there are in each age category, depends if there are split starts per age group or one big start group per race. Obviously the downhill competition will be an individual race with riders being set off with a time gap in between.

Q: Are winners’ jerseys and medals awarded?

A: MTB Masters World Champion jerseys will be awarded to the winner of each age category and Gold, Silver & Bronze medals are awarded to the top three riders in each age category.

Q: Is there a minimum number of riders needed in an age category in order for it to be recognised for the Masters?

A: Yes – this is the case, and the minimum number of entries needed per category in order for a winner’s jersey and medals to be awarded is six riders. If there are less than six riders entered, then that particular age category is combined with the category below or above it in order to create a “decade” category – i.e. if there are 4 x entrants in the 55 – 59 category and 17 x entrants in the 50 – 54 category, these will be combined to create a 50 – 59 category which will then have 21 x participants. If there are 2 x riders in the 40 – 44 category and 6 x riders in the 45 – 49 category, these will then be combined in the 40 – 49 category with 8 x participants.

Q: Do I need to enter myself or does my national federation enter me for the Masters?

A: All entries must be done in the name of each individual entrant through the online entry system

Q: Why is the entry fee for Masters in Euros and why so expensive for SA riders?

A: As it’s a World Championships, the entry fees are in line with international standards and in fact are a lot cheaper in 2013 than in previous years to try and accommodate the SA riders in particular. However, it is still very cheap if one considers what flights, accommodation and all else that goes with it if you were looking to ride the same event in another country.

Q: Do I need to enter before the event or can I just arrive and ride?

A: All people wishing to compete must enter beforehand through the official entry process – unfortunately no late entries will be able to be accommodated

Q: How do I get there? Where do I stay in Pietermaritzburg? Do I need transport? What airport should I fly to?

A: All this logistical information including which service providers can assist you in making your MTB Masters World Champs experience the best it can be is available at the website at www.mtbworldchamps.co.za.

 

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