World Solo Championship profileHere's some lowdown on the newly redesigned 2007 World Solo Championship course in Monterey, California. The laps are nearly 22kms long and have a vertical gain of 2573 feet. Just look at those jagged peaks and valley's - you're either slamming down a hill or crawling up another. Not sure yet how long an average lap will take, you might be thinking it shouldn't matter how long a lap is since the plan is to keep riding non-stop - but it is important to hydration and nutrition strategy. If the laps are only taking an hour to complete then it's simple, one bottle with one hour of fuel. If the lap goes into the 1.5hr range then I'm into more than one bottle or maybe a camelback. Sure would be convenient if the laps are 60-70mins long.

Another important factor to the lap length is how far away you are from your support pit crew. Dave is going to be manning my pit and I know I won't have any worries once I get to the pit but 12kms away from the pit with a broken xyz might seem like an eternal walk in the dark with a bike on your shoulder. And that's what makes this kind of Google map study thing pretty interesting. I probably won't know my average lap time until we arrive in Monterey on the 28th for my first in a series of pre-rides of the course. With four days of pre-riding I should have a pretty good handle on what's what come race day on Sept 01.

So what does the Laguna Seca racecourse area look like? Well if you have Google Earth you could go there and move around the area like I did looking at the different hill climbs and descents. If you don't have Google Earth you should grab it as it's a free download and has some very useful abilities.

Laguna Seca trails top down

You can adjust the angle of view so you are looking up the trail rather than looking down at it from a satellite view, you simply tilt "the camera".

And my only real feel for what it's going to ride like is from this pretty cool footage:

2007 Sea Otter XC Long Course along with associated vertical profile.

Or if you prefer it with some groovy tunes (without the vertical profile) you can check it out by clicking the YouTube frame below.

It's definitely not as technical as the Canmore course which is a shame as I get a pretty good advantage from slamming the technical sections and generally passing quite a few people. It looks like pretty easy flowing singletrack with not a lot of space to pass on some of the downs and in the tighter singletrack through the trees. Overall I'd say it's gonna be a fitness race, more roadie-fit than mountain bike fit, guess it's time to spend some more time on the road bike.

By the way, if you have some spare time on the weekend of 01-02 Sept and you just happen to be in the Monterey area and you want to see my pain-face make sure you drop by my pit (# 77) to say hi and punch me in the shoulder. ;-)