While you’ve been burning the midnight oil watching the Tour, Steph and Geoff, our travellers in Europe, have been watching the World Mountain Bike Championships in Moravia.
Stephanie and I returned last Monday (11th July) from the Czech Republic after a fantastic 10 days. The 4 days spent at Nové Město na Moravě high up in the Moravian Mountains amongst the beautiful pine forests was terrific. The Australian men, women and girls gave a gutsy effort on the steep and rugged terrain in front of a crowd of 55,000 people each day!! They all encouraged the local Czechs, Swiss, French, German, Danes etc. on which meant it was a very hard task for our riders to finish with the top Europeans! We gave our riders vocal support on every lap and they saw us draped in the Australian Flag on different parts of the course!
The bright and sunny weather with blue skies and no wind meant the conditions were ideal for fast laps in ideal conditions on a very difficult and steep course. The crowds were massive on The Cardiac Climb with spectators 6 to 7 deep for hundreds of metres on the climb. We got our perfect positions a few hours earlier against the fence so we could see everything without an interrupted view. The riders rode through the massive Rock Gardens with a superb sense of balance and agility at speed that had to be seen to believed.
We were lucky to be with the parents of the Womens and Mens 2016 Under 23 World Champions. The Mens World Champion is a Kiwi!!! The Girls’ Under 23 World Champion is Swedish – she was like a beautiful Model wearing lycra!! She was very fast, strong & agile on the bike as well !
I said to Stephanie how lucky we were to be in the right place at the right time that day!
Prague is a beautiful Medieval city with its Gothic Renaissance, Baroque Architecture everywhere. We spent each day walking the cobbled streets from 9 am until evening admiring and absorbing the history. The Czech people are very friendly with warm personalities who like Australians very much.
We enjoyed many evenings sitting in historical squares enjoying a beer or 2 and a lovely meal on balmy evenings watching the different number of nationalities walking past. One morning we took the open air bus tour of the city which was outstanding, visiting the Old Town, the New Town, the Jewish Quarters and the magnificent castle with a bonus view of the Changing of the Guard.
After a frustrating 5 hour wait at Prague Airport we arrived at Gatwick very late last night meaning a 14 hour door to door day… due to a British Airways aircraft being replaced because of a technical failure.
We have a few more weeks in England visiting family in the north and in the south and in London.
We trust Everyone is fit & keeping well. Stay safe please.
Stephanie & Geoff
Thanks to Geoff for this report and photos.