Athletes laud Rio 2016 mountain bike course

Rio de Janeiro, Oct 13 (IANS) The world’s top mountain bike riders have praised the course that will stage the sport at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Switzerland’s reigning world champion Nino Schurter overcame scorching heat to win the men’s event while Italy’s Eva Lechner took gold in the women’s category, reported Xinhua news agency.

“The organization was great, everything went well, and I’m sure we are going to have an awesome Olympic race here next year,” Schurter told Rio2016.com.

“It’s a really cool course and really fun to ride. The challenge was the heat – for us from Europe it’s difficult to handle the hot conditions.”

Schurter clinched the gold in one hour, 20 minutes and 36 seconds, just ahead of France’s Maxime Marotte and Italy’s Andrea Tiberi.

In the women’s race, Poland’s Maja Wloszczowska grabbed silver and Sweden’s Jenny Rissveds took bronze.

Peter van den Abeele, head of off-road at the International Cycling Union (UCI), said the course would only need “minor tweaks” for next year’s Games.

“We are extremely satisfied,” Van den Abeele said.

“The course was really well delivered and we only received positive comments. I was very involved in the London Games, which were excellent, and I thought it would be very difficult for upcoming organisers to do better. But after seeing this (the Rio course), it will be way better than London, so congratulations.”

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