Jaroslav Kulhavy is heading to Pietermaritzburg, South Africa for the UCI MTB Marathon World Champion. He will try to improve his second place from 2011 and get the rainbow jersey, which he has been still missing in his collection of achievements.
What are your chances before the race?
Based on the paper results, five people can think about the title, so we will see how the race will goes. My shape has been relatively good since I returned from the World Cup in Australia and I hope to avoid all the falls and troubles. This title is the last one I would like to have in my collection.
How have you adjusted the training to this top event?
The first training block I did after Albstadt, but it lasted only for six days because of the crash there, wasn´t so good and long enough. Now I have passed the second longer one so I should be in a better shape than during the European Championship in Northern Ireland.
What has been your longest training?
I was training in a similar way like when I was getting ready for European Champs. The trainings lasted for five hours and when you add up two training blocks plus five hours of racing in Malevil Cup last weekend, it should be much better.
Do you have any information about the course in Africa?
Instead of single-tracks and long up-hills they should be short and steep. That´s why I was preparing in the Orlicke and Beskid Mountains. I still do not have a detailed information about the track. Most of the 95km long circuit leads through the private land and that´s why we will get there only this week. But it should be quite enough to get acquainted with it.
Does XC racer on long tracks have any advantage over the marathon racers or is it more about disadvantages?
The advantage may be in a faster start which I managed now at Malevil Cup and at the European Championship. I am able to ride fast since the start and till the others respond I can have a some lead. I can ride in the front for thirty forty km and I can build up the lead for three minutes. It is then much easier than in case the whole group is entire on the 70th km. Marathon specialists have on the other hand better preconditions for the race finish and they also focus on it in the training. Another plus for me is the flat land where I can keep a high pace and I can quite easily ride up a lead.