MTB World Cup: Albstadt performances “a yardstick” for round two in Czech Republic

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UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Round 2 – Nove Mesto Na Morave
24-26 May 2013
Preview: Eddie Allen

British Cycling Olympic Mountain Bike coach Phil Dixon has described his team’s performance in round one of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup as “a yardstick in the ground” as the programme moves on quickly to round two in Nove Mesto Na Morave, Czech Republic.

The British Cycling team will comprise Olympic Podium Programme riders Annie Last and Kenta Gallagher; the latter once again competing in the XCE (Eliminator) event on the Friday evening, before contesting the Under 23 event alongside Academy Programme teammate Grant Ferguson.

Gallagher will be hoping to improve upon his Eliminator result in round one, where a tyre problem prematurely curtailed his challenge in the 1/8 final. The 20 year old Scot went on to finish 16th in the U23 XCO event, two places adrift of Ferguson, performances which pleased coach Dixon greatly. “It’s the strongest start to the season they’ve ever had,” remarked Dixon, “The level of the racing is really high, they coped with the course technically. It’s a different level.”

Academy rider Bethany Crumpton will also hope to replicate her performance from round one, which saw her post an excellent 12th place in the Women’s U23 race after recovering from a less than ideal start. Dixon is confident that there’s more to come from 18 year old from Redditch – asserting that there was “plenty of headroom” in Crumpton’s performance.

Unlike round one, there will be no representation from the Olympic Development Programme squad at Nove Mesto Na Morave, coach Simon Watts’ junior riders busy with school commitments.

Racing begins on Friday evening with the XCE Eliminator and will conclude with the Elite Men’s event on Sunday afternoon. Red Bull TV will have live coverage of the Elite Men’s and Women’s XCE and XCO events.