This is an excerpt from the MarathonMTB.com Race Team website. Click here for the full article
There are less than 15 hours until the gun goes off on what should be regarded as one of Europe’s premier Mountain Bike Marathons. The National Park Bike Marathon circumnavigates the Swiss National Park, crossing into and out of Italy as part of the course. There are four distances available, or it can be raced as a relay team of four.
Scuol – Scuol: 138km, 4010m
Fuldera – Scuol: 104km, 2870m
Livigno – Scuol: 71km, 1750m
S-chanf – Scuol: 47km, 840m
So there are options, and all other starts are served by great Swiss logisitics with bus and bike shuttles, and breakfast available early so you can be well fuelled.
Having completed this race in 2010, I am really happy to be here again. I spent a few days in Scuol in late June. At the time, I figured I would be home by now. But I managed to spend a bit longer away from home, work and regular responsibilities, so here I am. The Graubunden region of Switzerland is a Marathon mountain bikers playground. The routes are big, the food is great, and they have about 300 days of sunshine a year here.
One of the things I like most about the route taken for the race is the history of it. Some of the passes we go over have been smuggling routes, or pilgrims routes over the years. And for once the mountain bike way isn’t the long way around. The routes over the high passes are about as direct as those that the cars take via other passes and tunnels.
It is the 10th edition of the National Park Bike Marathon, and with about 1600 entries it is clearly popular. For 2011 it is also the Swiss National Championships. Having a look at the start list, it’s been growing through the day, with the likes of Andreas Kugler (Multivan Merida), and an assortment of other licensed Euro’s signing on. Unlike in countries like the United Kingdom, other nationalities can race – they just can’t be the Swiss Champ. As an example, Jenny Fay won the Australian Marathon Championships in May, but her Irish citizenship meant Jenni King wears the jersey.
For the full article, go to the MarathonMTB.com Race Team Website