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July 13/07 5:42 am - Pan Am Games: MTB Races Tomorrow

Posted by Editoress on 07/13/07

Pan Games Cycling Starts Tomorrow

The Pan Am Games Opening Ceremonies take place tonight in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with the mountain bike races scheduled for tomorrow. Canada has one woman (Catharine Pendrel) and two men (Mat Toulouse and Ricky Federau) in the mountain bike competition.

It has been raining quite a bit in Rio, so the course has been unrideable until now, according to Catharine Pendrel, who conducted a brief interview with us.

The course has dried up a fair amount. First lap my tires were so full of mud they barely rotated, but it improved as the day went along.

We will start on a flat start loop which has 2 or 3 BMX type bumps on it. It is the muckiest part of the course. Hoping it'll dry up, as it is now hot and sunny. Supposed to be 27 and sunny tomorrow too. We then head up a steep climb and into rooty off camber singletrack climbing. The woods are a bit greasy and off camber providing a good technical challenge. There are a number of little climbs and descents in the woods before sending us up a gradual climb (double track) of about 400m. There is a bit more descending before we are sent out onto flat land and into a serpentine of at least a 1 kilometre, which feeds us back into the start finish.

Tonight is the opening ceremonies which we will have to miss. The road and track athletes arrived today. Tomorrow is the first day of competition with MTB and open water, and I'm sure a couple other sports.

Conditions on the BMX course are so mucky practice has been cancelled the last 2 days.

Catharine also said that there are only 11 women on the start list for the mountain bike race.


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