- woman’s UCI World Championships in Saalfelden -

At the beginning of September, our guests and I headed over to Saalfelden to have a day off the bikes to enjoy watching the professionals. The whole day was fantastically organised (the food queues were a bit hard work though) and the course was brilliant for the spectators. Plenty of places to sit in the shade and watch the riders slog up and down the mountains. The crowd really got into the swing of things and cow bells, horns and clappers could be heard up and down the valley. So as normal, straight to the photographs so you can get a good feel of the days riding. We’ve split this event into two posts. First up, the women.

Start of the UCI XCO Womens World Championships

The crowd were cheering and the riders tense at the start of the Womans race. Pleased with this panning shot of the Russian rider Kalentieva.

Gould choosing the fast line on this technical section

On a couple of the technical section there was a chicken run that could be chosen. Most of the riders that didn’t want to ride the steep rock instead chose to get off their bikes and jump down instead of taking the wider route through the trees.

Tight corners in Saalfelden

It was amazing how close you can get to the riders. Our Finnish guests and I stood on a corner half way up the mountain and enjoyed watching the precision and skill of the riders and they came down the mountain. It was tiring just watching these women!

Langvad choosing to run this tight technical section

Another tight corner that tested the riders. Towards the end of the race the mud was getting churned up and a hand full of the riders preferred to run this section. Just around the corner was an especially hard rooty climb that challenged all the riders.

22nd place for Joseph

Right at the very top of the climb in the woods was a tricky little drop. The photo doesn’t really do justice to the steepness of the trail. A number of the riders were skidding their way down ten meters of so before tackling a tight left hand corner.

Techincal section in Saalfelden 2012

The atmosphere and reality of actually being at a race is something that is well worth the effort. It does make it quite hard though to keep track of the leaders though. Not a problem I suppose, you can always record the race for watching later.

Crowds enjoying the finals

Luckily we had fantastic weather. Perfect sunshine and the course was holding up well. If this hadn’t been the case then spectators and guests alike would have been struggling on the steep muddy slopes.

Second place in the UCI World Champs

I’d love to know just how many photos must have been taken at an event like this World Championship race. It seems that everyone has a DSLR camera and those that don’t were merrily clicking away on their smart photos.