World Cup mountain bike racing is returning to the UK this year, with cross-country action at Dalby Forest in Yorkshire next month and downhill and four-cross derring-do at Fort William in Scotland at the start of June.
After a successful debut event last year, Dalby will host round two of the 2011 UCI Mountain Bike Cross Country World Cup on 20-22 May. The Elites will race around the challenging 6.7km course on the Sunday, preceded by the Juniors and Under 23s on the Saturday.
An urban street race, the Pro Sprint Eliminator, will be held in Pickering on the Friday night, and the 20km Dalby Dare will give amateurs the chance to ride a lap of the World Cup course on the Saturday afternoon. For kids, there’s the Dixons Dare.
British Cycling’s cycle sport and membership director Jonny Clay said: “We’re delighted to be once again taking the Mountain Bike World Cup to Yorkshire. The racing is only one aspect of what will be both a thrilling and entertaining few days.”
Adult day passes cost £14, with child, family and weekend passes also available. The Dalby Dare costs £33.50. Discounts are available for British Cycling members. For more information, visit www.mtbworldcup.co.uk.
Now in its 10th year, the Fort William World Cup has long been one of the most popular events in the mountain bike calendar. For 2011, Aonach Mor will host round two of the downhill and four-cross series. Organisers are promising a family-friendly festival atmosphere on 4-5 June, with loads of activities.
Hopes for a British winner in the downhill are high, with Gee Atherton, last year’s winner and the reigning World Cup champion, due back to defend his crown and the likes of Steve Peat, Josh Bryceland, Marc Beaumont, Brendan Fairclough and Danny Hart snapping at this heels. It’s a similar story in the women’s race, where current world champion Tracy Moseley and Rachel Atherton are both strong contenders.
There’ll also be plenty of up-and-coming Scottish downhillers hoping for a chance at glory. Fort William local Joe Barnes (MTBCut/Orange) said: “I can’t wait for the Fort William World Cup – the best thing about it is the atmosphere. It’s a massive event and you can always count on it having the biggest crowds and the best pits on the circuit.”
Single day passes (including a trip in the gondola) cost £19 for adults, with child, family and weekend passes also available. For more information, visit www.fortwilliamworldcup.co.uk.
The full 2011 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup schedule is:
||XCO / DHI /4X
||Dalby Forest (GBr)
||Fort William (GBr)
||DHI / 4X
||DHI / 4X
||Mt-Sainte Anne (Can)
||XCO /DHI / 4X
||XCO / DHI / 4X
||La Bresse (Fra)
||Nove Mesto Na Morave (Cze)
||Val di Sole (Ita)
||XCO / DHI / 4X
The 2011 UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships takes place from 31 August to 4 September in Champery, Switzerland.