PMB wins right to host a leg of Mountain Bike World Cup 2009

2008-06-22 00:00

It’s official! Pietermaritzburg will host the first leg of the Nissan UCI Mountain Bike World Cup next year, the UCI Mountain Bike Commission announced after the city met the technical requirements for the competition venue.

The event will be hosted from April 10 to 12. It will incorporate cross-country racing; downhill competitions and four-cross, a discipline of the sport that has never been competitively staged in Africa before. Although a Downhill Mountain Bike World Cup event was staged in South Africa in the late ’90s, such an event has never been staged on the African continent.

Treble Entertainment events director Alec Lenferna said the event will be a week-long festival of mountain biking hosted near the Cascades Shopping Centre.

He said a national event will be staged on April 4 and 5, followed by development clinics.

“With the highest quality events in road cycling, BMX and mountain biking all taking place in Pietermaritzburg in February, March and April 2009, the positioning of the city as the cycling capital of Africa is fast becoming a reality,” said Lenferna.

The news was met with excitement by municipal manager Rob Haswell, who said television coverage will reach 70 stations around the world. “More than 1 000 participants, 650 of whom will be from other countries, will be attracted and they will spend throughout our metro area,” said Haswell.

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