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Rio holds Olympic Mountain Bike test event in high temperatures

Oct 14, 2015 Ahead of the 2016 Games, mountain bikers recently braved the scorching heat as they tore up Rio de Janeiro’s Olympic mountain bike course in an official test event. Some top prospects gunning for Olympic glory next year took a spin on the Olympic course, with current world champion Nino Schurter of Switzerland emerging top in the men’s competition.

Rio has held a series of test events as it prepares to host the world for the 2016 summer Olympics.

Rodrigo Garcia, one of the organizers of the event, said:

 “Today is a little hotter than what we’ll have during the Games. We’re going into spring and summer right now in the southern hemisphere. During the Games, they are summer games, but we could call them winter games, here in Brazil. (The Games) are in the middle of winter here in Rio, but winter in Rio is not that different from this heat, so it is good the athletes came to take part in the test event so they have an idea of what they have to come next year,”

Although some competitors complained that the 5.4 kilometer course is a bit dangerous, other athletes were full of praises for the course.

Gregor Raggl of Austria said:

“No, it’s not that dangerous, it’s like any World Cup course, it’s nearly the same with (inaudible) and jumps in it, but it’s not too dangerous,”

Eva Lechner, winner of the women’s event, said:

“The course itself is really nice to ride, I enjoyed it a lot. But with the heat you have to be really careful, because then you can make a lot of mistakes, because you’re down and so, I think, that is the biggest challenge on that course,” 

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