A new mountain bike event in China has received the thumbs up from riders, teams and spectators alike.
The city of Guiyang, in the south-western province of Guizhou, hosted the first Guiyang MTB Invitation Contest from September 26th to 29th. This event, the only mountain bike event on the UCI international calendar, served as a test event with a view to joining the UCI World Cup calendar next year.
Eighty riders from 30 nations were at the start, including athletes from countries rarely seen on the international circuit such as India, Aruba and Ecuador. The racing attracted large crowds and was also broadcast on national television.
A short track demonstration on the first day was followed by the official cross-country races which were won by Switzerlandâs Fabian Peter Giger (Rabobank Giant) in the menâs competition and the Slovenian Blaza Klemencic in the womenâs competition.
The idea to launch the mountain bike event in the rapidly growing city of Guiyang stems from the desire of the authorities to promote environmentally friendly practices and healthy living in the new district of Jinyang.
UCI Mountain Bike Event Coordinator MÃ©lanie Leveau said teams and riders had appreciated this new race on the Asian continent: âThe feedback has been very good and the UCI is also satisfied with the way things went at the Invitation Contest. If it does become part of the World Cup, some changes will be made to the cross-country course and we will also have to create an Eliminator course. We would work together to ensure that the event meets everybodyâs expectations and the UCI World Cup standards.â
She added that the organisers had gone to great lengths to ensure the smooth running of the event. They had undertaken a major promotion campaign in the city, organised a spectacular Opening Ceremony, and broadcast the racing and the ceremony on a large screen in the city.
A decision on whether the Guiyang event will become part of the 2013 UCI World Cup will be made shortly.
UCI Communication Services