Home Cyclingnews TV   News  Tech   Features   Road   MTB   BMX   Cyclo-cross   Track    Photos    Fitness    Letters   Search   Forum  

Recently on Cyclingnews.com

Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

 MTB index page for all MTB content

European MTB Championships - CM

Cappadocia, Turkey, July 12-15, 2007

2006 results     Schedule     Preview   


  • Race 1 - July 12: Team Relay,
  • Race 2 - July 13: Junior Men,
  • Race 3 - July 13: Junior Women,
  • Race 4 - July 14: Under 23 Men,
  • Race 5 - July 14: Under 23 Women,
  • Race 6 - July 15: Elite Men,
  • Race 7 - July 15: Elite Women,

Elite racers head to Turkey for Continental Championships

By Aybars Oge Surucu

The UCI European Mountain Bike cross country championship brings the biggest event in Turkish Cycling history to Cappadocia. In fact, the former UCI president described Turkey as a "non-cycling" country in 2002 while presenting a road stage race. But in that time, everything has changed, especially for mountain biking.

Racers will tackle a 7.1km course, with three feed zones. Spectators will be able to see most of the course from the first feed zone for easy viewing.

Favorites include Bart Brentjens, who will be racing again in Turkey years after his victory at the Alanya MTB Cup. He'll be matched by the likes of reigning World Champion Julien Absalon, Oliver Beckingsale, Jean Christophe Peraud, Jose Antonio Hermida, Johann Pallhuber, Yader Zoli, and Tony Longo, but Liam Killeen will still be sitting out due to health issues.

Gunn Rita Dahle Flesja will still be sitting out women's competition while she recovers from a viral infection, therefore, the women's race is left wide open--just as the World Cups have been challenged by several top women in Dahle Flesja's absence.

Last year's race was won by Frenchman Absalon and Spain's Margarita Fullana; however Fullana will not be defending her title after breaking her arm this week.

Having the championships in Turkey came about when a small group decided to organize a mountain bike festival in Cappadocia; the small team behind the festival is now running the Turkish Cycling Federation, and the festival is on hiatus this year to support the European championships.

In ancient geography, Cappadocia or Capadocia, Turkish Kapadokya (in Persian: Katpatuka means "the land of beautiful horses") was the name of the extensive inland district of Asia Minor (modern Turkey). The name continued to be used in western sources and in the Christian tradition throughout history and is still widely used as an international tourism concept to define a region of exceptional natural wonders characterized by fairy chimneys and a unique historical and cultural heritage. The term, as used in tourism, roughly corresponds to present-day Nevsehir Province of Turkey. The region is southwest of the major city Kayseri.

Cappadocia region's unique scenery comes from its geology. It is largely underlain by sedimentary rocks formed in lakes and streams, and ignimbrite deposits erupted from ancient volcanoes approximately three to nine million years ago (late Miocene to Pliocene epochs). The rocks of Cappadocia near Goreme eroded into hundreds of spectacular pillars and minaret-like forms. The volcanic deposits are soft rocks that the people of the villages at the heart of the Cappadocia Region carved out to form houses, churches, monasteries. Some may recognize the scenery - part of the Cranked film series was shot here along with the 2003 Adidas cycling wear catalogue.

Expect to see more of Turkey on the mountain bike calendar. They will host the opener of the UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Cup in 2008 at Manavgat / Antalya.