Team manager Paul Darvodelsky shares some insights into the championships…
- When and where will this year’s world MTB-O championships be held?
- What races constitute the world championships?
- What terrain can the team expect?
- Will the terrain suit the Australian team?
- When will the team be announced?
- How long will the team be away?
- What training opportunities are available for prospective team members (e.g. lead-up races)?
- Will you have a team mechanic?
- What is your orienteering and MTB-O background?
Banska Bystrica in Slovakia between 5-11 September.
There are 4 races, qualification, classic, middle distance and relay.
This part of Slovakia seems to range from somewhere between hideously and brutally steep!! So generally we’ll have shorter and steeper courses than we’re used to with slower track surfaces.
Yes. The Aussies are all very strong riders, so generally the tougher it is the better we should do.
When and where are the selection trials for the Australian team being held, and what are the selection criteria for the team?
Selection races are on the 21st and 22nd of May in the Daylesford area. The size of the team will depend on the results, but the general idea is to send a team of 4 men and 4 women. Changes to those numbers will depend on the results in the selection races. Australia is very strong in MTBO and therefore we may send a larger team.
As soon as practical after the selection races. There is no fixed date and timing will depend in part on the results. Most likely the selectors will make an announcement a week or two after the last selection race.
There is quite a strong European MTBO calendar now, with World Ranking Events and multi-day events in many countries. These start in early July and some people may head across around then, but I expect most will head across between late July and mid-August and stay until after the World Champs party! As with foot-o the more time one can spend in a new terrain, the better.
Apart from the normal race programme at home in Australia there are two MTB-O 5-days, 4 World Ranking Events, Austrian, Slovak and Czech championships leading up to WOC and the team will probably have a training camp in Slovakia in the last half of August on the WOC training maps.
We’ll be looking for one! At this stage we haven’t organised a specific mechanic and most team members are used to doing routine maintenance on their bikes. But I hope to organise some sort of share agreement with one of the European teams. WOC organisers usually arrange some sort of access for maintenance also as part of the event, particularly for major work. Which hopefully we won’t need!
I’ve been orienteering since a fateful day sometime in 1976. In that time I’ve orienteered in about 25 countries and done well over 1000 races, including world cups and the like. For MTB-O I did my first event in late 2001, just after I bought my first bike and haven’t actually run a step now for about 3 years!