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Houffalize Mayor confirms World Cup round is "saved"

Julien Absalon (Orbea) takes a 15 second victory in the men's race.

Julien Absalon (Orbea) takes a 15 second victory in the men's race.

The Belgian round of the UCI World Cup will take place on May 1-2 as scheduled according to the mayor of Houffalize on Tuesday. Prior to the New Year, Belgian media had reported the race was in jeopardy due to financial shortfalls, although yesterday, the UCI issued a simple statement saying it was confident the race would still take place.

"Following various contacts in the last two weeks between the town of Houffalize on one hand and All Event Organisation and Impact Diffusion on the other, a collaborative agreement has been reached," read a statement by Houffalize Mayor Marc Caprasse.

"The decision will delight all lovers of mountain biking. Competitors and the public, who are particularly attached to this global event, have an appointment in Houffalize for May 1-2."

Houffalize will host two World Cup disciplines: four cross and cross country.

The mayor noted that tens of thousands of spectators attend the annual World Cup round. "Tourism and hospitality sectors of the Houffalize community will surely benefit once again from the impact of the global event - both in financial terms and media impact.

"The joint organizers - All Event Organisation and Impact Diffusion - and the community of Houffalize will put all the energy necessary needed to uphold the confidence of cyclists and fans who have spontaneously expressed their support through the web, letters, telephone calls and text messages," promised Mayor Caprasse.