Earlier this year, Canberra was selected to host the 2009 UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships, and just a few weeks ago, Canberra found out it also won a bid to host a round of the 2008 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup on August 30-31.
Both events will be held at the new purpose-built Stromlo Forest Park, which features courses designed by renowned international course designer expert Glen Jacobs. The one stop- shop sporting facility has internationally-accredited mountain bike tracks including a downhill track, 4X facility, a permanent trials home, and over 60km of cross country trails with plans for more in the future. The park caters for all levels of riders from beginners to mountain bike experts.
Spread across 1,000 hectares and located 10 minutes by vehicle from the heart of Canberra, the AUS$7.5 million multi-use, purpose-built park was constructed following the 2003 Canberra bushfires that destroyed Mount Stromlo Forest. The World Cup will be held in conjunction with a festival, displays, and typically Australian attractions.
The timing is perfect to showcase new Olympic champions as they finish off their competitive season. "For the 10 days post the Olympic Games in Beijing Canberra, Australia will be the focus of world cycling. To add to the excitement of the World Cup round spectators will be treated to the thrill of seeing Olympic gold medallists in action" said President of Canberra Off Road Cyclists (CORC) President, Anthony Burton. The Olympic Games are scheduled for August 20-21, 2008.
CORC has joined forces with Apis Events to host both events. Their joint venture company is MTB World Events.
"Australia has a proven track record of hosting world class events and we are confident Canberra will deliver an outstanding World Cup," said Graham Fredericks, CEO of Cycling Australia. "Canberra's Stromlo Forest Park is a fabulous venue and we applaud the initiative of the ACT government and its support of the sport."
The 2008 World Cup at Stromlo Forest Park will be a crucial dress rehearsal for the 2009 UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships, but city officials are excited about how the event will showcase the area to the world which may attract other top sporting events. The World Cup will serve as round eight for the cross country series and round six for the downhill series.
ACT Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation Andrew Barr said, "Bringing the world cup to Canberra will lead to more people around Australia and the world recognising what we have here in Canberra, a world class city with world class facilities."