March 30, 2006 – Kicking off the season in Curacao for the first UCI MTB World Cup is a little different than usual here on a Dutch Caribbean island. The biggest challenge is definitely the heat and humidity. The course is very fast and winding, and not very hilly with lots of sand and rocks as you would expect on a tropical island like Curacao.
The organizers have been working very hard to make a very good impression on the world stage. The start of the 2006 season means that all of the World Cups from now until 2008 count towards every country’s selection for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China. So the field is very deep and all of the usual suspects are here. Even 2003 World Champion, Filip Meirhaeghe, who just finished his doping suspension for EPO, is here and set to make a comeback.
For the Canadian squad on the women’s side are, Marie-HÃ©lÃ¨ne PrÃ©mont (Rocky Mountain/Business Objects), Alison Sydor (Rocky Mountain/Business Objects), and Kiara Bisaro (Gearsracing.com); for the men it’s Geoff Kabush (Maxxis), Seamus McGrath (Felt Racing), Mathieu Toulouse (Maxxis) and Marty Lazarski (Rocky Mountain/Business Objects).
The weather forecast is calling for 30 degrees and sunny every day until the race day on Saturday – the women are off first at 10am and the men follow at 1pm – so until then enjoy the sun wherever you are.