For the first time the FELT ÖTZTAL X-BIONIC Worldcup Team with the second of Münsingen Blaza Klemencic (SLO), 17th of Dalby Forest Sabrina Enaux (FRA) and the German Vice Champion Adelheid Morath will be part of this event. By Paul van der Ploeg (AUS), Simon Scheiber (AUT) and Manfred Reis (GER) all three under 23 national champions in the team want to catch up places in the world ranking. That`s the aim of Austrian Karl Markt as well. He has already proven several times that he is able to finish in better ranks than in Dalby Forest (53rd place). "I would not mind if it would rain on Sunday. The more difficult the conditions, the greater my chances, "said Markt about the changeable weather forecast for the race day.
The 5.42 km long course is known for his hard climbs, fast descents and difficult root passages. Nearly 20,000 spectators witnessed the victory of Julien Absalon (FRA) and Margareta Fullana (ESP) in the previous year. Both belong to the favorites this year as well. In addition to Fullana the winner of the previous week Irina Kalentieva (RUS) and the second placed Willow Koerber (USA) are aspirants for victory in Belgium too. Katarina Nash, Georgia Gould and Catharine Pendrel are also aiming for the podium in women's competition. But it`s very difficult to forecast as the level of performance is very high. Blaza Klemencic, whose furious catch-up race in England was stopped by a technical defect, has certainly the shape to ride for top 5 places. The Frenchwoman Sabrina Enaux would like to confirm her strong performance from the previous week and is aiming at a top 15 place.
In the men`s competition everyone expects a new battle between the double Olympic champion Julien Absalon (FRA) and Nino Schurter (SUI). In Dalby the Swiss won in the sprint as at the 2009 World Championships in Canberra (AUS). The young South African Burry Stander, who stood on the podium in Dalby as third, is in Houffalize as well a candidate for the podium as Ralph Naf (SUI) and Jaroslav Kulhavy (CZE).
The stage for a thrilling second World Cup is prepared. The mood in FELT ÖTZTAL X-BIONIC Worldcup Team is splendid. "Although the tension increases the closer we get to race day, we have a lot of fun together. Paul is the great joker and makes us laugh constantly," Adelheid Morath says about the situation in the team two days before the competition.
Fans have the possibility to watch the races on Sunday live at freecaster.tv and keep your fingers crossed for the athletes of the FELT ÖTZTAL X-BIONIC Worldcup team.