Tuesday, August 30, 2016

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Vallnord, Andorra


After the successful organisation of the MTB and Trial World Championships in 2015, a new edition of the MTB World Cup, the fourth to take place at this venue, comes to Vallnord, Andorra, in the heart of the Pyrenees. The programme will feature the Descent (DHI) and Olympic Cross Country (XCO) competitions, as Andorra hosts the ninth and final event on the 2016 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup season. Riders will square off in this final showdown on the terrain that saw the world’s best battle it out for the rainbow jersey last September at the 2015 UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships.
Some 1,148 riders from 55 countries are expected to take part, with television coverage attracting more than 42 million viewers.
The Mountain Bike UCI World Cup will take place from 1 to 4 September in Vallnord Bike Park La Massana.


The Disciplines:

Cross-country Olympic (XCO) format races are held over undulating circuits (with technical descents, forest roads, rocky paths and obstacles) of 4 to 6 km, which riders must complete several times. The Elite racing times, for men and women, vary from 1h 30 minutes to 1h 45 minutes. An attractive course design that shows the discipline well on television and also spectator friendly is a necessity!

Downhill (DHI) is a race against the clock in which the rider negotiates a succession of fast and technical passages. The participant must demonstrate courage as well as sharp technical and piloting skills in order to battle tree roots, rocks, banked sections, bumps, jumps and other natural obstacles along the way.

The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup has a long history. 
Over the years, the UCI has modified the format and introduced new initiatives in order to keep up with evolving trends and meet the expectations of athletes and fans.
It was 24 years ago that two American riders, John Tomac and Sara Ballantyne, became the first winners of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup. The year was 1991, and the World Cup series comprised nine rounds in seven countries, catering for Cross-country Olympic (XCO) specialists only.
Two years later, in 1993, the downhill (DHI) format joined the programme.
1998 was the year that the dual slalom – the forerunner of four-cross – made its debut in the World Cup. Dual slalom involved knock-out heats with two riders racing on parallel courses, and it featured in the World Cup for four years.
After four years on the programme, in 2001, the dual slalom was replaced by fourcross (4X) in which four riders race against each other on a single course.
Cross-country Eliminator was the latest mountain bike format to join the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup from 2012 to 2014. This spectacular format for XCO specialists sees four competitors race head-to-head over a lap of around a kilometre. Introduced to the World Cup with three events in 2012, six Eliminator rounds appeared in 2013 and 2014.

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