MTB world cup: city ready to welcome the world

2009-04-02 00:00

Organisers of this year’s Nissan UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, to be hosted in Pietermaritzburg, confirmed that everything is good to go for the event taking place next weekend — well, nearly everything.

It took them 14 months to transform the area previously used as an informal mountain bike racing venue into one of international standards. “A lot of international riders have visited the venue over the years, so there’s always been a lot of potential,” said Alec Lenferna, the event director of World Cup.

Working in conjunction with city management, Lenferna’s team designed the course, did all the necessary earthwork, removed trees and over 450 tons of rock.

“The city of Pietermaritzburg really supported us. And we are really blessed,” he said.

Lenferna said that all that’s left to do is to set up the infrastructure needed for the event — that is, electrical equipment, marquees, grandstands — all of which will be removed after the World Cup so that the area stays “a green park”.

“I’ve got around one week to pull it all together. We are not concerned about it, we’ll just have to work hard,” he said.

He added that the venue will not become a white elephant once the tournament is over.

KZN Mountain Bike chairman Martin Fourie said that after the tournament they will have a meeting to determine what programmes will be held at the venue after the World Cup. “Many people have worked for years to get the World Cup to take place here. A lot of people will benefit from it in future.”

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