South Africa's cycling fraternity and the country's general public will have a golden opportunity to be a part of a once-in-a-lifetime experience when Cascades MTB Park plays host to the UCI Mountain Bike Masters World Championships and the UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships within a 12-day window in August later this year.
"Outside of the road world championships, this is the greatest cycling event in the world and is the pinnacle of the mountain biking calendar!" said Cycling South Africa's General Manager Mike Bradley.
"It is the single most important event South Africa has ever had the privilege of hosting. No cycling event this size nor this spectacular has ever taken place here before and it is definitely something everyone should seek to be a part of in whatever way they can.
"To have not only been awarded not only the main world championships but the masters as well really is an exceptional honour and it is now up to us as South Africans to ensure we get behind the event and show it the support the previous host countries have shown."
With previous events such as the 2010 UCI BMX World Championships, the 2011 and 2012 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Pietermaritzburg and the 2012 UCI World Cycling Tour Final all having been staged in Pietermaritzburg, the city has a rich history of hosting top international cycling events however, never quite something as prestigious as this.
"I urge all those who live in Pietermaritzburg to take ownership of this event and give it your full support whilst those from out of town start planning your trip to come watch some of the most exciting, extreme mountain biking you'll ever witness.
"With such a wide variety to choose from there will always be something on the go of interest to you," said Bradley. "With trials, where guys will be jumping over a variety of obstacles, downhill, which is the extreme adrenalin pumping cycling discipline, and cross country, which is what many would have watched on television during the 2012 London Olympics, there will be a host of action of the highest standard happening at Cascades throughout!"
With the UCI rainbow striped world champions jersey up for grabs in not only each of the elite disciplines but for each of the age groups of the masters event as well, cycling fans will get to enjoy lots of battles, including watching South African Greg Minnaar try to defend his 2012 downhill world title.
The UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships will take place at The Cascades MTB park in Pietermaritzburg from August 26 to September 12013, and will be preceded by the UCI MTB Masters World Championships from August 21-25.
Cross country courses ready
With a little over four months to go, the the cross country courses at the Cascades MTB Park are complete and is ready to be ridden.
Organizers have said that courses for both the elite and masters races will soon be marked with colour-coded demarcations and is open to those who wish to ride it.
For more information, visit www.mtbworldchampionships.co.za.
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