South Africans settling in for marathon world champs in Austria

Eight South African endurance mountain bike riders will line up at the start of the 2013 UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Champs in the scenic ski village of Kirchberg in Tyrol, Austria on Saturday 29 June.

The elite men, represented by Max Knox, Nico Bell, Charles Keey, Lourens Luus, Darren Lill and Erik Kleinhans, will tackle a 94-kilometre course with 4,400 altitude metres. The world championship route, which is the ultra marathon loop for the annual KitzAlpBike-Marathon, presents a highly technical trail with high-speed descents, killer climbs and fast, steep corners.

2013 National MTB Marathon Champion Robyn de Groot and Samantha Sanders will be put through their paces on the 85km elite women’s route. With tough climbs and dangerous descents to be negotiated, the women will also have to tackle 3,700 metres of altitude during their race to be crowned the World Champion.