Our Polish friends checked in with us this week and xxcmag.com is happy to once again virtually take ourselves (and you) to Poland to race mountain bikes as we preview the upcoming Sudety MTB Challenge. The following photos and words were provided by the race organizers (with some minor edits and additions by XXC).
The ninth edition of Sudety MTB Challenge starts this Sunday, July 28th in Kudowa Zdrój, Poland. Riders from all over the world will compete for six days on the trails of the Sudety Mountains. The race is nearly nearly 400 km in length and features 12000 meters of climbing. The difficulty of each stage will be compensate with beautiful views, which will be on the route every day.
The top favorites to win are Czechs, Martin Horak and James Kavalir from BMC Savo Racing. There is also strong Polish team – Sebastian and Sylwester Swat and Austrians – Axel Strauss and René Reidinger from Bikeboard.at. In the solo category favorites are: American Jason Sager** (winner of the Trans Andes and BC Bike Race) and the Czech Republic Tomáš Vokrouhlík, but we can’t forget about: Sönke Wegner (Germany), Jose Luis Arce (Spain) and the unpredictable Belgians, Swiss and British
**Stay tuned to xxcmag.com as Jason Sager (Team Jamis) will be checking in with us over the course of the week. Thanks Jason!
Sudety MTB Challenge Stages
Prologue | Kudowa Zdrój – Kudowa Zdrój
Sunday, July 28th, 2013
Distanced: 8.1 km
Ascent: 507 m
A short, intense mostly uphill prologue time trial in the Table Mountains National Park.
Stage 1 | Kudowa Zdrój – Kraliky
Monday, July 29th, 2013
Distanced: 88.2 km
Ascent: 2210 m
The longest, but compared to the other days, the easiest one will take racers from Kudowa Zdrój, Poland through The Bystrzyckie Mountains to town of Králíky in the Czech Republic.
Stage 2 | Kraliky – Stronie Śląskie
Tuesday, July 30th, 2013
Distanced: 80.0 km
Ascent: 2603 m
Stage two has racers crossing back into Poland and reaching the highest point of the race before they take on challenging downhill in the scenery of the Sudeten rocks, faults and narrow single tracks.
Stage 3 | Stronie Śląskie. – Złoty Stok
Wednesday, July 31st, 2013
Distance: 60.0 km
Ascent: 2019 m
The tracks of the next part of the race will cross three mountain ranges. They will touch the northern part of The Śnieżnik Range and the peaks of The Bialskie Mountains at a height of 1062 (The Sucha Pass) and 922 meters above sea level (The Dział Pass). Wide metalled and cobbled tracks characteristic for this region will demand the right technique and the increased vigilance on the downhills. The Borówkowa Mountain (900 m above sea level), will have racers facing a very difficult and exciting downhill on a narrow forest track surrounded by the large stretches of the blueberry bushes.
Stage 4 | Złoty Stok – Walim
Thursday, August 1st, 2013
Distance: 71.5 km
Ascent: 2403 m
Technically difficult fragments of this stage will not forgive the mistakes and the lack of abilities to fully control your bike. They will show no mercy to the careless bikers. The Sowie Mountains are only 40 km long, but it’s just this short part which will come back to you in your nightmares.
Stage 5 | Walim – Kudowa Zdrój
Friday, August 2nd 2013
Distance: 77.9 km
Ascent: 2243 m
The final stage begins with a long uphill to the Suche Mountains and the ruins of a 13th century castle. After crossing the non-existing border with The Czech Republic you will be able to take another breath before entering The National Park and finishing the Sudety MTB Challenge.