The Dalby World Cup Course Preview
British Cycling's Video guide to the course
Sitting within an area that covers under one square mile, the Dalby World Cup course is a spectators dream offering a number of different vantage points without ever being far from the action and attractions of the event village. Join us as we take a trip around the opening lap of each race...
Starting in the World Cup VIllage the riders will first, and for one lap only, take on a starting loop comprising predominantly of fire roads, enabling a natural selection to take place before they once again pass close to the village, join the main course towards the end of the normal lap and plunge into the first of the main spectator hubs on the course...
A familiar feature to anyone who has visited the forest before, Dixons Hollow is a man made mountain bike playground where twists and turns, bumps and berms beg the rider to push speed and control to the limits. As its name suggests, Dixons Hollow is a natural amphitheatre for spectators and its proximity to the main event village means it's sure to be a popular vantage point over the weekend.
From here the course narrows as the first descent of the lap gives the riders a taste of what to expect on the rest of the course, but before they've had chance to recover they're already climbing again into the event field and toward the start/finish line.
Here riders will skirt the edge of the event village before dropping away into the Adderstone Loop via the descent of Adderstone Rigg. This element of the course drops down from the event village and then traces the line of the fire road that eventually leads to the base of Medusa's Drop. No such direct route for the riders however as they'll follow a singletrack that rises and falls continuously before climbing back to the event village where spectators gain their third opportunity of each lap to see the race pass in close proximity.
As they pass so close to the event village competitors might be forgiven for thinking that their ordeal is nearly at a close, however the course dives away once again as a fast flowing descent gives way to singletrack, following the backbone of this course, before climbing up to be faced with the choice of a dual descent with two options; a fast, nervy, rocky descent or a more forgiving but slower route to the next of the major spectator hubs on the event....
One of the crown jewels of this king of courses, Worry Gill is a quiet, eerie and magical place on most days of the year, a spiral of singletrack descents and climbs that eventually suck the rider down the drain pipe like valley of Worry Gill itself. On the day of the event this is sure to be transformed into a cacophony of noise as it offers a natural and extended gallery from which riders are in sight for a long time and there is more than one opportunity to come a cropper before they descend out of sight.
The long descent out of Worry Gill tempts riders to push hard, appearing easy in places but with ample opportunity to wipe out if tiredness or recklessness outpace skill and judgement as the lap reaches its most decisive phase.
If you were to continue straight on at the bottom of Worry Gill you'd quickly arrive at the feed zone, however, whilst spectators are welcome to take the direct route, riders must tackle a lung busting, technical, singletrack climb who's only reward is the fearsome and technically demanding descent of Medusa's Drop.
A precipitous zig-zag track that hangs off the hillside that leads to the Scout Field which is home to the Feed Zone on the course. Berms on the higher corners of the descent tempt speed but it's the bottom of the course that provides the big dilemma and the point where the race could be won or lost as each rider faces the choice of a direct but treacherous route to the scout field or a more flowing but longer way down. Get it right and it's the difference between victory and defeat. Get it wrong and the roles are reversed.
Subsequent sections of the course take the riders up once again onto Jingleby Summit and around to Peathead Rigg to the top of Worry Gill once more where riders will again face more technical descending and climbing before spectators lose sight of them for the last time as the course climbs back, ultimately passing the end of the start loop and heading onto Dixons Hollow as it assumes its position as the final challenge of the World Cup lap.