Rocked up at Mount Stromolo today with my little pink camera and strolled up the 2009 World Championship course in Canberra.
First impressions were:
1. Windy, lots of cross winds
2. Not a lot of vertical drop, Mount Stromlo is something like 700m, the track probably drops around 200-300m.
3. Not a root in sight
4. The top section looks good, lots of rocks.
5. Middle to bottom reminded me of maybe the Whistler A-line?
6. The flat lung busting pedal and the bottom is still in.
7. The track surface is super slippery dust.
8. It’s not Val Di Sole but I’m sure once things get going the racing will be exciting.
Video of the course coming next.
Marshal point D25 is the start of the last gut busting flat sprint to the finish.
This is the official word on the course:
Riders will start from a new section, from a scaffold start ramp. From the very top of the mountain with massive views overlooking the city of Canberra, riders will speed through moguled old logs, rock drops, off camber loose dirt, to cross a disused fire trail and then the fun really starts. The newly extended Eagle Rock Garden is the first real technical challenge and at over 70 metres includes rock steps, off camber-rutted sections, small pine trees and boulder fields to negotiate. Multiple lines exist and a separate B line is available at the entrance to this section.
Riding a fast curved benched track with boulder fields and small jumps, competitors will have to wash speed off over huge rock a-lines (pop rock) or b-line berms. Floating across the hill, riders are tested with a decision to take the huge (G20) cliff face drop onto rocks or negotiate the cliff face and other optional lines. Into the 20-metre Canberra Bridge (Hospital View) riders travelling at warp speed, will launch onto a huge alpine styled trail jump (hospital view). But beware, there are two huge rock steps to negotiate here.
The crowd favorite iconic section of the course, triple treat is back and bigger for 2009. Triple treat includes a series of 3 big jumps (triple treat) with 4 different lines. Expect the huge crowds to cheer the brave riders as they gain big air. Exiting (triple treat) riders are faced with super berms, medium sized strategically placed rocks, a fast bermed corner and a large road gap (called first blood).
The bottom section of the course is the whistler style, (wallaby run) all fun, speed berms, low rolling jumps or pump lines. Generating and carrying speed is the secret of the success of this section, as riders need to aim for the monster 4X step-up leading to a series of rollers running beside 4X track the on the way to the to the XCO cross over and down a set of three rock drops into the new finish bowl.
Canberra World Championship downhill Track Photos