With one week to go until the mountain bike races at the Olympic Games, most of the sport's eyes are on London, but there is also less than one month to go until the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Leogang and Saalfelden, Austria. From August 29 to September 9, the two venues in the Salzburger Land will host gravity and cross country championship events.
"The Worlds is the ultimate supreme in the discipline of mountain biking, and it is a great honor for us to organize it," said Stefan Pühringer, director of the Saalfelden Leogang Touristism GmbH.
"We are all very proud to host such a prominent collection of events. What started over 10 years ago with a small pioneering project - the Bikepark Leogang - has become one of our core touristic markets. We are especially happy, that Saalfelden can continue to branch out in to the endurance discipline of cross country and establish itself as a true sporting city."
The opening ceremony for the world championships will take place in the city center of Saalfelden on August 29. There will be a parade of participating nations, including all participants on the Rathausplatz starting at 7:00 pm. Salzburger Land's official delegate Mag. David Brenner, the mayors of Saalfelden and Leogang, as well as an official delegate of the UCI will begin the ceremony with some welcoming words. Afterwards, the region will present performers offering a full Austrian experience: traditional folk music and jazz, as well as Schuhplattler (well-known from the Oktoberfest) and Goasslschnalzer (a "gaudy" specialty from the German-speaking Alps area) will underline the cultural heritage of the region.
The celebrations are expected to carry on throughout the two weeks with numerous parties and live music. The Ö3-Party will happen on Friday, August 31 with the Funk & Soul Combo "The Jackson Eleven" (located at the Leoganger Bergbahnen event hall. On Saturday, the Leoganger Bergbahnen will be hosting the Override Afterparty the Second featuring DJ Grandheight. The party starts at 9:00 pm, guests must be over the age of 16.
Trials Night will highlight the Worlds on Thursday, September 6 and Friday, September 7 with the finals held under floodlights in the city center of Saalfelden (from 7:00 pm to 10:45 pm).
To end the Worlds in a spectacular fashion, the closing party Bike Vibration will feature Buzz Clubbing on Saturday, September 8 in the "Congress" of Saalfelden. This party will be open until the early morning. The eliminator world championship will not start until 1:30 pm on Sunday so that everyone can get enough sleep after the closing party
The finalized schedule of the 2012 UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships is below. For more information, visit www.saalfeldenleogang2012.at/en/.
2012 UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships Schedule
Friday, August 31
Elite Men and Women 4X Qualifying Round (5:30 pm)
Saturday, September 1
Elite Men and Women 4X World Championships (5:30 pm)
Sunday, September 2
Junior Men and Women Downhill World Championships (10:30 am)
Elite Women Downhill World Championships (1:00 pm)
Elite Men Downhill World Championships (2:00 pm)
Wednesday, September 5
Women Trials World Championships (10:00 am - 2:00 pm)
Thursday, September 6
Team Relay World Championships (5:00 pm)
Junior Men Trials 20" World Championships (7:00 pm - 8.45 pm)
Elite Men Trials 20" World Championships (9:00 pm ; 10:45 pm)
Friday, September 7
U23 Women Cross Country World Championships (11:00 am)
U23 Men Cross Country World Championships (2:00 pm)
Junior Women Cross Country World Championships (5:00 pm)
Junior Men Trials 26" World Championships (7:00 pm - 8:45 pm)
Elite Men Trials 26" World Championships (9:00 pm - 10:45 pm)
Saturday, September 8
Junior Men Cross Country World Championships (9:00 am)
Elite Women Cross Country World Championships (11:00 am)
Elite Men Cross Country World Championships (2:00 pm)
Sunday, September 9
Eliminator World Championships (1:30 pm)