The 2016 Olympics are now less than a year away and we’ve had our first glimpse of the cross country course.

In the above video you can see Nick Floros, the course’s designer, take on his creation. The main criticism with the London course was a lack of gradient, this does not seem to be a problem in Rio however with some serious slopes on display.

Similarly to the Hadleigh Farm course of 2012, the new track looks to have open sections interspersed with man made technical obstacles. There also appear to be multiple line choices that are graded by ability.

We particularly like the look of the switchback descent towards the end of the video that should test the riders’ skills as well as their fitness – In Floros’ own words: “It was harder than I thought.”

Rio 2016 descent with view

It appears as though the course is still being built, but as a first look, this is relatively promising as it is very similar to the London course that delivered two cracking races.

The men’s race was clinched by Jaroslav Kulhavy, who beat out Nino Schurter in a sprint finish. The women’s race was won by Julie Bresset who attacked early and never looked back.

The Cross Country World Championships take place this weekend. This will be the last significant on-off competition before the Olympics so should give a good indication of who the favourites for next year might be.

The Rio 2016 cross country mountain biking race will take place on 20 and 21 August, the final two days of the Olympics.