The UCI today announced the major events that will comprise their 2012 mountain bike calendar, including the World Cup and World Championships venues and dates. They also announced a new World Cup and World Championship discipline – cross-country eliminator – and confirmed worldwide dates for the National Championship weekends.
Next year's edition of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup series will comprise 10 events in nine countries on three continents. There will be seven rounds for each of the traditional mountain bike disciplines – cross-country, downhill and four-cross– with three new cross-country eliminator races (XCE) being held on the same weekend as some of the cross-country rounds. As with the other races, several rounds will count toward a final, overall ranking.
As in 2011, the 2012 World Cup will open in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, although it'll happen about one month earlier. Traditional venues such as Fort William, Scotland; Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada; and Val di Sole, Italy once again feature on the 2012 calendar. The World Cup also returns to La Bresse, France, but for cross-country rather than gravity racing.
A new triple event will be organised in Val d’Isère, France, site of the 2009 World Ski Championships. This will be the final cross-country event of the World Cup season, and the last time these specialists will meet before the 2012 London Olympic Games. Meanwhile, the final downhill and four-cross events will take place in a new venue, the Hafjell Bike Park in Norway, which hosted the 2010 European Championships. This final World Cup round will occur after the World Championships.
Other venues for the 2012 World Cup are Houffalize, Belgium, which will return to the calendar after a year's absence, and Nove Mesto na Morave, in the Czech Republic, which will host an event for the second time. Britain's Dalby Forest and Offenburg in Germany will not be visited, and neither will this year's World Championships host town, Champery in Switzerland. Whether Windham, New York will be included remains to be determined. The UCI said one round on the American continent remains to be confirmed.
The 2012 UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships in Austria will be run in a new format over two weekends and the week in between instead of the traditional one-week period. The downhill and four-cross competitions will take place in Leogang from August 31 to September 2, while the cross-country, cross-country eliminator and trials specialists will confront each other in Saalfelden from September 6-9.
The UCI Management Committee today also approved the first four events of the new UCI Mountain Bike Marathon series for 2011-2012. This series, which will be qualifying for the 2012 UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships, will begin after the 2011 UCI Mountain Bike Marathon Worlds, which will be held in Montello, Italy on June 26.
UCI Mountain Bike World Cups
- March 17-18: Cross-country #1, Downhill #1 & Four-cross #1, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
- April 14-15: Cross-country #2 (with Eliminator #1), Houffalize, Belgium
- May 12-13: Cross-country #3 (with Eliminator #2), Nove Mesto Na Morave, Czech Republic
- May 19-20: Cross-country #4 (with Eliminator #3), La Bresse, France
- June 2-3: Downhill #2 & Four-cross #2, Val di Sole, Italy
- June 9-10: Downhill #3 & Four-cross #3, Fort William, Scotland
- June 23-24: Cross-country #5, Downhill #4 & Four-cross #4, Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada
- June 30-July 1: Cross country #6, Downhill #5 & Four-cross #5, TBD in America
- July 28-29: Cross country #7, Downhill #6 & Four-cross #6, Val d'Isere, France
- September 15-16: Downhill #7 & Four-cross #7, Hafjell, Norway
- August 11-12: London, England
- August 31 - September 2: Downhill & Four-cross, Leogang, Austria
- September 5 - September 9: Cross-country & Eliminator, Saalfelden, Austria
- September 22-23: Marathon, Ornans, France
- July 21-22: Cross-country, Downhill & Four-cross
- September 22-23: Marathon
This article was originally published on Cyclingnews.com.