Spain’s three-time world champion, Margarita Fullana, has confirmed she’ll be competing in Pietermaritzburg at the opening round of the 2009 Nissan UCI MTB World Cup presented by Shimano in April.

    The pint-sized (1.59m, 50kg) Spaniard is one of the most successful mountain bike cross-country racers of all time and will be one of the biggest names among the women competing at the event, which runs from April 10–12.

    In 2008 Fullana finished on the podium at two rounds of the nine-event World Cup series, with victory at Round 4 in Andorra. She also claimed her third world championships title in Italy, to go with her previous world titles in 1999 and 2000.

    The 36-year-old Spaniard was also the European champion in 2006 and won the bronze medal the 2000 Olympic Games.

    “It’s the start of what we expect to be a flood of big name entrants,” said Event Director, Alec Lenferna. “It’s the first round of this year’s Nissan UCI MTB World Cup presented by Shimano and it’s in Pietermaritzburg, a new venue, which has attracted much interest. We’re expecting the biggest names in mountain bike racing to be here in April.”