Brian Lopes to race new UCI XC Eliminator?
Brian Lopes is to return to World Cup racing...but it won't be 4x races!
The hot news is that the UCI are testing a new event called the XC Eliminator and Brian Lopes is giving it a whirl.
At the moment we're not sure of the finer details of the event but both Dalby and Offenburg will have the XC Eliminator race.
Here's what the Dalby XC website says about the event:
"The World Cup Weekend kicks off with a race where cross country stars collide with unfamiliar terrain as they race head to head (and elbow to elbow) around an urban course that will test their power, speed and skill to the max. The winners on the night will take away a big cash prize that guarantees they’ll push it to the limit in every round of the competition.
The evening gets underway with a time-trial where riders complete the course once against the clock to decide who they will compete against in the eliminator rounds that follow.
Eliminator rounds see 4 riders take to the course at the same time with only the first two from each race progressing to the next round until there are just four men and four women left for the grand final."
Interestingly TWR downhill racer Tracy Moseley will also be racing the Dalby XC World Cup this year, is she doing the XC Eliminator too?!
Here's the news from the Brian Lopes camp:
With 25 World Cup wins to his name Lopes retired from WC 4x racing in 2008, but is making a return next week. Surprisingly he is racing XC world cups #2 & 3 in Dalby Forest UK & Offenburg Germany, but not really expecting much in the way of results in the XC races, but hopeful in a new discipline that the UCI is testing, called XC Eliminator.
Much like 4x there will be a timed qualifier where 32 riders will make the show. Groups of 4 will race approximately 3 minute long heats, top 2 advancing to the next round, until the final four are matched up.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge. Obviously I have plenty of experience racing 4x, but those races are gravity fed and usually no more than 1 minute long, so tripling that amount of time with some small climbs and plenty of flats will be tough. 3 minutes is a lot longer than you think when you’re going all out and I know how strong these XC guys are, so I’ll cross my fingers the courses suit me as much as they can and that I am feeling good."