A close-up look at the Australian's purpose-built ride
Australian's 2015 Tinkoff-Saxo team bike
Winner of the 2015 Tour Down Under
New and old kicks and lids seen at WorldTour race
The elite men's World Cup start in Windham, New York
Windham and French World Cup venues are gone
The UCI released the 2013 mountain bike world calendar on Friday, including most World Cup and world, national and continental championship dates and venues.
The relatively small 2013 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup will comprise just six cross country rounds and seven downhill rounds. In its second year, the eliminator World Cup calendar grows for 2013 with five events.
In total, eight venues in eight different countries have been confirmed. A ninth round could take place in China, but this is awaiting validation after the test event scheduled for the end of September. What disciplines it might include have not been specified
Notably missing venues include what was the only recent US venue - Windham, New York. Val d'Isere, France; Houffalize, Belgium; and La Bresse, France are also gone from the calendar. Pietermaritzburg will not host a World Cup because it is hosting the Worlds in 2013.
The confirmed World Cup venues are:
- Nove Mesto (Czech Republic): For the third time on the calendar, it was voted best XCO event in its first year on the World Cup calendar (2011). It is widely recognised and appreciated for its technical circuit and its facilities (it is a biathlon and cross country venue).
- Fort William (Great Britain): It is the 11th year in the World Cup for this Scottish town which also hosted the 2007 UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships. It annually draws a large and enthusiastic crowd.
- Willingen (Germany): 2012 marks a return to the calendar after seven years' absence. The World Cup round will be part of a large annual festival with family events, 200 exhibitors and more than 30,000 visitors over three days.
- Val di Sole (Italy): Organiser of the 2008 Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships and member of the World Cup calendar since 2010, Val di Sole will see a return of the XCO after a break from this format in 2012.
- Vallnord (Andorra): This small nation in the eastern Pyrenees returns to the calendar after an absence of three years.
- Mont-Sainte-Anne (Canada): This Canadian resort hasn't missed an edition of the World Cup since its creation in 1991, with the exception of 1998 and 2010 when it hosted the World Championships.
- Hafjell (Norway): This is its second year on the calendar and its first as host of the cross country events. It will be the final round for XCO and XCE.
- Leogang (Austria): One of the venues of the 2012 UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships, Leogang will host the final DHI round.
The World Cup venues are spread out in terms of geography and dates and will require plenty of travel. This did not go un-noticed by racers.
"Mama Mia!! What a UCI mtb world cup calender [sic] for 2013! What they think: teams have private planes?" tweeted veteran racer Jose Antonio Hermida (Multivan Merida) of Spain.
While there are some large gaps in the calendar, team logistics will be challenged to go from Italy to Andorra to Quebec on back-to-back-to-back weekends in late July and early August.
Continental championship host countries and dates were specified for Oceania, Europe and Asia, but not for America.
National championship weekends for various disciplines were also specified although many countries do not hold their championship events on the designated weekends.
2013 UCI Mountain Bike Calendar
2013 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Calendar
May 25-26: Cross country #1, Eliminator #1 - Nove Mesto, Czech
June 8-9: Downhill #1 - Fort William, Great Britain
June 15-16: Cross country #2, Eliminator #2, Downhill #2 - Willingen, Germany
July 27-28: Cross country #3, Eliminator #3, Downhill #3 - Val di Sole, Italy
August 3-4: Cross country #4, Eliminator #4, Downhill #4 - Vallnord, Andorra
August 10-11: Cross country #5, Downhill #5 - Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec, Canada
September 14-15: Cross country #6, Eliminator #5, Downhill #6 - Hafjell, Norway
September 21-22: Downhill #7 - Leogang, Austria
June 29-30: Marathon Worlds - Kirchberg, Austria
August 21-25: Masters cross country and downhill Worlds - Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
August 26-September 1: Elite, U23 and Junior cross country, eliminator, downhill and four cross Worlds - Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Designated national championships weekends
July 20-21: Cross country, downhill, four cross, worldwide
September 21-22: Marathon, worldwide
March 27-30: Oceania championships - Australia
May 11-12: Asian championships - China
June 20-23: European championships - Location TBD
Note: American championships not specified by date or location.