The key players of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano met in Lausanne, Switzerland, from 9-11 December, at the annual seminar to prepare for the next edition of the race series.
The three-day meeting was attended by some 25 delegates from organising committees, sponsors (Shimano and GoPro), the media partner (Red Bull Media House) and the timekeeper (Swiss Timing) who actively participated alongside UCI representatives and World Cup technical delegates.
As is the case every year, the seminar covered a wide range of topics, in particular sporting issues, organisation, marketing and TV coverage.
A special feature of this year's seminar was the contribution made by three organisers who have particular expertise in certain aspects of organisation. These organisers shared their experience and knowledge with the seminar participants. The delegates from Nove Mesto na Morave (Czech Republic) explained in detail how they cooperate with TV production companies. The design of the course and any amendments to it are discussed by the two parties. This approach has been proven effective as the quality of the TV broadcast is significantly improved. The Fort William organising committee (Great Britain) explained that its relative geographical isolation had not prevented its event attracting large crowds in Scotland every year for over a decade as a result of very effective loyalty initiatives. Finally, the delegation from Mont-Sainte-Anne (Canada) shared its recipe for success: its event forms part of a genuine festival that combines sport, music and exhibitions.
The mountain bike event is the highlight of two weeks of festivities. MÃ©lanie Leveau, UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Coordinator, rated these contributions as "very positive", commenting: "Every seminar of this type facilitates the acquisition of knowledge by the participants. This year we went a step further with the presentations of the Czech, British and Canadian organisers. These were very useful case studies that, without doubt, will allow all World Cup organisers to further improve their events to the ultimate benefit of the series itself."
Each organiser also met UCI representatives on an individual basis, offering an excellent opportunity to discuss the specific issues of their events.
The 2014 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano gets under way on 10 April in Pietermaritzburg (South Africa) and concludes on 24 August in MÃ©ribel (France). The series encompasses nine events in nine different countries.