The Pickering town centre, British Cycling and its partners will host the opening of the 2010 UCI Mountain Bike Cross Country World Cup weekend with an evening of racing and free entertainment in the heart of North Yorkshire on Friday, April 23.
The evening will kick off at 6:00 pm with the Pro Sprint Eliminator, a race format combining the gladiatorial excitement of four cross racing with the all round skills of cross country, in an urban setting that will bring the sport of mountain biking close to the general public.
Riders in the opening time trial round will have to be one of the quickest 32 men or 16 women to make it into the eliminator phase. There they will face off in groups of four, having to finish in the top two in each subsequent round to qualify for the final where a big cash prize awaits the final overall winner.
Some of Yorkshire's household names will also be braving the course in a special "celebrity" race before the final round of the Pro Sprint Eliminator.
The carefully designed, one-kilometre circuit will test riders to the limit and pose a number of challenging obstacles as they fly through a resident's back garden, over a set of steep steps and flowerbeds whilst manoeuvring their way in between lampposts. Riders will also enjoy a moment of quiet on route as they pass through Pickering cemetery.
After the excitement of the pro and celebrity racing, there will be an opening ceremony for the Dalby World Cup, followed by an evening of festive activities including Morris dancers, a brass band and face painting for children. Pickering bars and restaurants will stay open late into the night to celebrate the arrival of the World Cup.
Steve Peat, a Yorkshire legend and 2009 downhill World Champion, said, "I can't wait for the Dalby World Cup weekend. It's great to have some of the world's best cross country guys race on my doorstep and the Pro Sprint Eliminator is a fantastic warm up for spectators and riders ahead of the elite racing on Sunday."
"Cross country is a thrilling sport and the Pro Sprint Eliminator will show off the riders skills to spectators in an atmosphere of fun and celebration in the spirit of the whole Dalby weekend," said British Cycling's Cycle Sport and Membership Director, Jonny Clay.
British Cycling is working in close partnership with UK Sport, Welcome to Yorkshire, Yorkshire Forward and the Forestry Commission, with the support of a number of local partners including Ryedale District Council and North Yorkshire County Council, to deliver the Dalby World Cup.
For more information, visit www.yorkshiremtbworldcup.co.uk.