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Mountain bike stage racing returns to Haiti

By:
Cycling News
Published:
November 14, 2013, 21:15 GMT,
Updated:
November 14, 2013, 21:16 GMT
Edition:
MTB News & Racing Round-up, Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Racers fly through some rocky terrain in the Mountain Bike Ayiti

Racers fly through some rocky terrain in the Mountain Bike Ayiti

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Second annual MTB Ayiti set for 2014

Mountain Bike Ayiti, a mountain bike stage race, will run for its second year in Haiti in January 2014. The successful inaugural event, held earlier this year, attracted national and international riders such as Hans Rey, Marla Streb, and Sonya Looney, who finished as race champion.

Held in partnership with Haiti's Minister of Tourism and the Minister of Sport, Youth, and Civic Action, the 2014 race wove bike-related "ecosystem building" activities, cultural immersion experiences and three days of challenging riding into a unique six-day event.

"One of our goals is to attract world-class events to Haiti to showcase the natural beauty that few have imagined possible. The Haiti Mountain Bike Stage Race is a perfect opportunity to take adventurous athletes through terrain ranging from sandy beaches and lush forests to mountain ridge-lines," said Stephanie Villedrouin, Minister of Tourism for Haiti.

"Ayiti" translates into "land of mountains", underscoring Haiti as an ideal locale for mountain biking. Building on that, MTB Ayiti is already one of the most impactful catalysts for Haiti's adventure tourism industry and demonstrates the potential for companies to deliver measurable positive economic impact. Incubated by Travelcology, the founders are already bringing local partners into the core team and MTB Ayiti will be grown into a Haitian-owned and operated business.

"People often forget that Haiti is a Caribbean island. There is tremendous opportunity to build Haiti's tourism industry and a key objective is to shift the world's perspective on what Haiti has to offer," said Philip Kiracofe, the founder of MTB Ayiti.

Held from January 28 to February 2, 2014, participants will race and explore two distinctive regions of the country - the majestic mountains towering above Port au Prince and the coastal Cotes des Arcadins.

Ranch le Montcel will serve as the first host venue, and riders will ascend thousands of feet through rural villages, forests, and mountain switchbacks with awe-inspiring views. The race then moves to Arcahaie, a coastal community surrounded by mountains. Racers will climb 5,000 vertical feet to the UNESCO protected Fort Delpeche before descending down to a final sprint to the finish at Moulin Sur Mer resort. On the final day, there will be a festival held at the resort, including an awards ceremony, live music, food, kids races, corporate challenges, and cycling safety clinics.

The event will be filmed by an experienced team of industry professionals, with race highlights and results airing on local Haitian networks and covered by international cycling and adventure travel media.

For more information on the race, visit http://mtbayiti.org.

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