Cycling South Africa clinched another coup by winning the rights to stage the 2013 UCI Mountain Bike Masters World Championships in Pietermaritzburg, a week before the 2013 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships will take place at the same venue.
The announcement was made at the International Cycling Union (UCI) management committee meeting last Friday afternoon at cyclo-cross Worlds, confirming that the masters MTB event will be bolted onto the elite world championships at the Cascades MTB Park next year.
The awarding of the Masters Worlds to South Africa is significant at a number of levels. The Masters Worlds has for the last five years been held in Brazil, and in 2013 it will for the first time be a precursor to the elite world championships.
"It will be a fantastic opportunity for local mountain bike riders over 30 years of age to ride in the Masters World Champs," said event director Alec Lenferna.
"More than that, it is a major vote of confidence in CyclingSA, and for Pietermaritzburg as a premier cycling destination," he said. "Hosting events like the UCI BMX Worlds, the UCI MTB World Cup and the UCI World Cycling Tour finals really puts CyclingSA on the global map."
Pietermaritzburg has hosted the UCI BMX World Championships and Supercross, the UCI MTB World Cup, the Msunduzi Road Challenge leg of the UCI World Cycling Tour, and will this year host the UCI MTB World Cup and the final of the UCI World Cycling Tour, and is eagerly looking forward to hosting the UCI MTB World Championships in 2013.
"Pietermaritzburg's vision is to become a globally recognised centre of excellence for cycling, and a hospitable and top class host of world class events," said Lenferna.
The next major international event, the UCI MTB World Cup, in Pietermaritzburg will place at the Cascades MTB Park from March 16-18, 2012. For more information, visit www.mtbworldcupsa.co.za.