Dalby will still count!

Volcanic ash won't halt World Cup opener

It's a real bummer, isn't it? You wait 11 years to host a standalone cross-country World Cup round and then a flipping volcano only goes and spoils it …

That's what the guys at British Cycling must have been thinking this weekend, as the UK's airspace remained closed, with competitors for the first round of the World Cup cross-country not yet arrived in the country.

But all is not lost for the Dalby World Cup. Teams from Australia and Canada arrived in Yorkshire last week, just before the ash cloud trigger the flight lockdown.

And some northern UK regional airports were planning to reopen today, although reports of a new ash cloud could see them close again soon.

Riders trying to get back from the Sea Otter festival in California – traditionally the 'opener' for the mountain biking season – will be hoping they can make the 'window'.

They may also be able to get to the UK by flying into southern Europe and then driving up to take a ferry across the Channel. British Cycling have reportedly reached an agreement with P&O Ferries to prioritise transport for teams over other travellers. Not so great if you're one of the stranded people being prioritised over, but we digress ...

A statement released by British Cycling reads: "The International Cycling Union has announced that the first round of the 2010 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano will take place in Great Britain as scheduled this weekend despite the air traffic difficulties currently being experienced.

"Teams needing to reorganise their travel arrangements will be able to benefit from information provided by the event's organisers."

The UCI has agreed the event will still count towards full World Cup points. And there are reports of riders 'switching' to UK time now, in the hope that any reprieve of the lockdown will mean they can hop on a flight to the UK, in time for the starter pistol this weekend … Fingers crossed!

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