In recent days, Far North Queensland in Australia has felt the full effects of Cyclone Ita. Whilst the category one system dumped almost 100mm of rain in Cairns and buffeted the city with wild winds, the damage to property has been minimal and life has quickly returned to normal in the region.
But plan are still very much on track to welcome the World Cup to Cairns in eight days time for the second round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup. Riders looking to travel to the region to be part of the racing should do so with confidence that the recent weather will not hamper their event experience. The UCI World Cup round 2 will visit Cairns on April 24-27.
The Cycling Australia Events and Operations team have been monitoring the Smithfield Regional Park closely over the past 48 hours. The course has absorbed considerable rainfall, however despite a couple of trees being uprooted by the strong winds, the damage has been limited.
"The trails have held up well which is a credit to the integrity of Glen Jacobs and the World Trails crew for their ability to create courses equipped to cope with heavy rainfall," said Steve Peterson Cycling Australia's General Manager - Events. "There is some clean-up and tree clearing taking place today, but much of this work was planned in line with final preparations, so the disruption has been minimal."
Peterson paid credit to the planning and preparation of the team behind the event, which has been secured for the region together with a similar World Cup event in 2016 and the 2017 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships.
"The fact that the venue has been able to cope with a natural disaster of this nature is a credit to the vision and hard work of the stakeholders involved," said Peterson. "We now look forward to working together to stage a world class event for the region and encourage as many MTB fans as possible to make the journey to Cairns to witness the action live. We can promise an experience they will never forget."