Many roads lead to Dalby
After the flight from Frankfurt to Manchester was canceled due to obstruction by the volcanic eruption in Iceland, the team had to travel from the Belgian Zeebrugge by ferry to Hull. Since Wednesday, the athletes train on the technically challenging circuit that will also be the venue of the Cross Country competition at the Olympic Games in London 2012. "The track design is a bit like in Offenburg. A course that is fun and promises a spectacular race", says the Austrian U23 champion Simon Scheiber about the track.
Klemencic belongs to the favorites
Although the flight schedule was severely limited in the past week, almost all the top riders seem to start in England. In the women's competition world champion Irina Kalentieva (RUS), who has recovered from her crash at Münsingen, and overall World Cup champion Lisi Osl (AUT) belong to the favorites. Osl has won last week in Münsingen just before Blaza Klemencic, who is currently in excellent shape and wants to ride for the victory in Dalby Forest. Her teammates Sabrina Enaux and Adelheid Morath, ranked on seven and eight in Münsingen, are aiming for a top 10 result in England. It`ll be interesting how Chinese Chengyuan Ren will perform in Dalby after some very good results last season.
Top stars at the start
Also the starting field of the men is full of top stars. In addition to double Olympic champion Julien Absalon (FRA) and world champion Nino Schurter (SUI), the Spaniard Jose Antonio Hermida and the winner of Münsingen Ralph Naf (SUI) are registered. With Moritz Milatz and Wolfram Kurschat the currently best German riders will start in Dalby. A selected roster, where the Austrian Karl Markt wants to compete. After podium finishes in Langenlois and Eisenberg Markt finished as 10th in Münsingen 10th. A result that will be difficult to confirm in Dalby although it doesn`t seem unrealistic due to his current shape.
Challenge for national champions
With Simon Scheiber, Manfred Reis and Paul van der Ploeg the reigning Austrian, German and Australian U23 champions ride for the FELT ÖTZTAL X-BIONIC Worldcup Team in England. Van der Ploeg, who has only been to Germany since the beginning of April, has now acclimatised and is well integrated into the team. As all three have made a significant performance leap it will be interesting what they can achieve at the World Cup opener.