2013 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships awarded to South Africa

Nino Schurter (Scott-Swisspower) wins in Pietermartizburg.

Nino Schurter (Scott-Swisspower) wins in Pietermartizburg. (Image credit: Zoon Cronje)

The UCI Management Committee awarded the 2013 UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships to Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. The decision was announced after the committee's meeting in Maastricht, the Netherlands, on Friday.

Pietermaritzburg has twice hosted a triple round of the UCI World Cup - first in 2009 and then in 2011. Yesterday, the UCI announced that the World Cup would return to Pietermaritzburg for another round in 2012. The venue will again open the international series next season.

South Africa is a popular early season training destination, especially for European elite riders. Many elite mountain bikers also race the Cape Epic each year in late March. 

South African riders have been increasingly mixing it up in the World Cup races including those like Burry Stander in the cross country and Greg Minnaar and Andrew Neethling in the downhill.

Since the first South African World Cup in Pietermaritzburg in 2009, organizers have continued to make changes to both the downhill and cross country courses.

This year's UCI Mountain Bike World Championships will be held in Champery, Switzerland.  In 2012, the Worlds will happen in Austria.  That will be the first year the championships are split over two weekends with the downhill portion in Leogang on August 31 to September 2, 2012 and the cross country portion in Saalfelden from September 6-9, 2012.

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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews.  She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.