SA to host MTB Masters World Champs

30 January 2012

Cycling South Africa has pulled off another coup by winning the rights to stage the 2013 Mountain Bike (MTB) Masters World Championships in Pietermaritzburg, a week before the 2013 MTB World Championships at the same venue.

The announcement, which was made at an International Cycling Federation (UCI) management committee meeting on Friday afternoon, confirmed that the Masters’ event will be bolted onto the World Championships at the Cascades MTB Park next year.

The awarding of the Masters Worlds to South Africa is significant on a number of levels. The Masters Worlds has for the last five years been held in Brazil, and in 2013 it will for the first time be a precursor to the Elite World Championships.

‘A fantastic opportunity’

“It will be a fantastic opportunity for local MTB riders over 30 years of age to ride in the Masters World Champs,” said event director Alec Lenferna.

“More than that,” he added, “it is a major vote of confidence in Cycling SA and Pietermaritzburg as a premier cycling destination.

“Hosting events like the BMX Worlds, the MTB World Cup and the UCI World Cycling Tour finals really puts Cycling SA on the global map.”

Pietermaritzburg has previously successfully hosted the BMX World Championships and Supercross, the MTB World Cup, and the Msunduzi Road Challenge leg of the UCI World Cycling Tour. This year it will host the MTB World Cup and the final of the UCI World Cycling Tour.

The biggest and most prestigious

The MTB World Championships, to be hosted in the city in 2013, is the biggest and most prestigious event in the sport.

“Pietermaritzburg’s vision is to become a globally recognised centre of excellence for cycling, and a hospitable and top class host of world class events,” said Lenferna, the man behind the city’s successful hosting of previous UCI-endorsed events.

Being the season-opener in an Olympic year adds extra significance to this year’s event. Many of the world’s leading MTB riders will also use the World Cup to scout the Cascades MTB Park set-up ahead of next year’s UCI MTB World Championships.

The RockyRoads UCI MTB World Cup Pietermaritzburg takes place at the Cascades MTB Park from 16 to 18 March.

SAinfo reporter

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