Polish Champs in 2008 World Champs Terrain

Sunday, 18 June 2006

I know there's a thousand and one reasons why I don't come to Europe more regularly, or sooner when I do.  But when you get to a place like Wilimy, the scene of this years Polish Champs, with perfect summer weather, I always wonder why I wasn't here sooner.

Wilimy is the baby bear of MTBO areas.  Not too hard. Not too easy. Just right!  Apart from being beautiful forest with a carpet of blueberries the tracks are almost all rideable.  Sure the short-dash tracks are tricky and bumpy, but most people can keep moving along and with a bit more determination at a reasonable speed.  In addition to that the less distinct paths and tracks are visible without being too easy to see or just places without trees.  To make things a bit tougher parts are a little sandy and that saps strength and speed.

In terms of number of tracks, there are lots of them.  The density is similar to the trickier areas we have in Australia, like The Whipstick and Mosquito Flat.  Given that the tracks are a bit harder to ride than the smooth tracks at home, it's very challenging to keep contact with the map and terrain.  And of course the maps are at 1:15,000 scale so that one can read the detail more clearly.  Try it Australia!  It's so much easier to read the detail at 1:10,000 or 1:15,000.  It's time to abandon those larger scales we've been using!

The Polish Champs has an interesting format.  Yesterday was a 9 km sprint race in the morning with a winning time of 25 minutes.  Having a rotten cold I just rode around this easily and came mid-field in 30 minutes.  In the afternoon they had a relay and I was adopted by a local club for the first leg.  My plan of taking it easy went a little westward when I was knocked off my bike at the start.  So I rode a little faster than planned and came in 3rd on the first leg, about 2 minutes behind.  About 14 km in 38 minutes.

Today was the long distance and traversed the western side of the area, which is much sandier and a bit steeper.  The area is pretty flat, but today had a few climbs that were noticeable.  Two Poles rode pretty fast in a little over 90 minutes and then I was 4th with a pack on about 100 minutes.  It was a result I was pretty pleased with as I wasn't sure I'd make it around the course and pulled up ok.

Tomorrow is a mass start, ultra long distance race with three 15 km loops.

Kiwis Darryl Taylor, Rob Garden and Marquita Gelderman are also here and keeping me company.  Marquita is in good form, consistently winning by 5-10 minutes over the Polish girls.  I'm sure she'll do very well in Finland.

Dave Simpfendorfer joins me on Tuesday for training near Warsaw and two more races next weekend before we head off to Finland.

Finally one of those gems of translation you find when you travel.  Found in a gents:  'Do not use.  Toilet not on duty.'

Anna Sheldon wins Silver at European Champs! Friday, 1 September 2006 After a long campaign in Europe at the foot orienteering world champs and student world champs, Anna Sheldon swapped her running shoes for bike shoes and has won silver in the first race of the European Champs
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Latest World Rankings - Adrian Jackson #1 Tuesday, 18 July 2006 Latest world rankings released.
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No gifts at the long distance race Saturday, 15 July 2006 Riders encountered a very tough long distance race with winning times about 25% longer than the upper limit recommended.
Maps and Routes now available online Thursday, 13 July 2006 Maps and Routes now available online
Adrian's Middle Race Tuesday, 11 July 2006 Read Adrian's report of his middle race
WOC Middle distance - spaghetti on a map Monday, 10 July 2006 The Aussies rode well at the WOC middle distance today in very detailed terrain near Joensuu.
Long Distance Qualification - Report Sunday, 9 July 2006 Comments from PD following the Long Qualification race.
WOC Eve Sunday, 9 July 2006 The final sleep before the racing starts.
Preview - Long Distance Qualification Race Saturday, 8 July 2006 Course stats and terrain notes for Long Qualification race
News and views from the team Friday, 7 July 2006 With regular internet connection the team is now into full blogging mode. Read on for blogs from the team members.
Please don't make me laugh Thursday, 6 July 2006 An update from Carolyn Jackson with less than a week to go before competition starts.
Cottonwool needed? Thursday, 6 July 2006 Relaxing can be, it seems, more dangerous than racing for the team.
Joensuu - final WOC training Thursday, 6 July 2006 The team is now in Joeunsuu the WOC city for final training before the start of races this weekend.
Finland - the team comes together Saturday, 1 July 2006 The team came together on Tuesday this week for the beginning of the final training for WOC.
Initial Impressions of MTBO in Europe Tuesday, 27 June 2006
Mazovia Cup - from the forest Monday, 26 June 2006 Two days of hot racing on sandy and often very indistinct tracks was the theme for the Mazovia cup this weekend
More on storks Monday, 26 June 2006
Results: Czech Champs Monday, 26 June 2006 Results from Czech Champs. Adrian competing.
Mazovia Cup - Poland Sunday, 25 June 2006 Results and brief comments after day 1 of Mazovia Cup
Of storks and stuff Wednesday, 21 June 2006 Poland has 80% of Europe's population of storks
Results: Polish Champs Wednesday, 21 June 2006 Results now available online
Rider Down but Not Out? Tuesday, 20 June 2006 Carolyn Jackson crashes and breaks 2 ribs in training accident
Kiwi speed Monday, 19 June 2006 Marquita Gelderman wins the Polish Champs with a clean sweep of the women's races.
Polish Champs in 2008 World Champs Terrain Sunday, 18 June 2006 This years Polish Champs are only a short distance from the areas which will be used for the 2008 World MTBO Champs in Poland.
Greetings from sunny Finland Monday, 12 June 2006 In the weekends WRE races Adrian finished 8th and 1st, while Alex was 12th and 21st
Fillari Cup, Finland - Preliminary results Sunday, 11 June 2006 Alex and Adrian start their WOC campaign at the Fillari cup in western Finland
The Blog is back!! Thursday, 8 June 2006 The Blog is back!
Final training camp Sunday, 4 June 2006 The team met in Bendigo and Maryborough for a final training camp before the world champs in Finland.
More CABC pictures Tuesday, 30 May 2006 A few more pictures to give a taste of what it's like riding in the CABC at Alice Springs
WOC Team Training Camp Tuesday, 30 May 2006 The OZMTBO WOC team is having a final training camp in Bendigo and Maryborough this weekend.
Finnish Maps Saturday, 27 May 2006 A quick intro to the terrain and maps of MTBO WOC 2006
Australian Team Jerseys Saturday, 27 May 2006 The new team jerseys have been released for 2006, keeping a link with the OZMTBO-Scott jerseys recently produced and previous team wear.
Central Australia Bike Challenge Thursday, 25 May 2006 CABC
MTBO Commission Bulletin - New Rule Thursday, 25 May 2006 MTBO Commission Bulletin
Change to 2006 WRE schedule Thursday, 25 May 2006 Change to 2006 WRE schedule
Training Camp Tuesday, 23 May 2006 WOC Team training camp
Team for Finland 2006 Wednesday, 12 April 2006 team annouced