UCI names best Mountain Bike World Cups of 2011

Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized) in Nove Mesto, Czech, the site of a World Cup in 2011.

Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized) in Nove Mesto, Czech, the site of a World Cup in 2011. (Image credit: Michal Cerveny - mtbs.cz)

Riders, UCI mountain bike teams, media, sponsors and UCI officials voted for the best events of the 2011 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup.  The three venue winners - in cross country, four cross and downhill - were announced by the UCI last week and each organizer will receive a trophy in honor of the award.

Cross country: Nove Mesto Na Morave takes top honors

The Czech World Cup event in Nove Mesto Na Morave was a first-year event, but it captured the votes of enough to win the Best Cross Country World cup award. Good organization, TV production and crowds were cited as reasons for the award. The event delighted many local spectators in particular since home favorite Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized) won.

Offenburg, Germany, which features one of the most technical courses on the series, finished in second place ahead of last year's winner Dalby Forest, in Great Britain, took third. Neither Offenburg nor Dalby will host the World Cup in 2012 although it will return to Nove Mesto.

Downhill: La Bresse voted the best

La Bresse, France, joined the World Cup calendar just two years ago and was voted this year as the Best Downhill World Cup of the season. The smooth organisation, a unique atmosphere and the thousands of spectators that turned out for this event ensured its popularity within the mountain bike community. The short, old school track which rendered tight results was also noted.

Last year's winner, the well established Fort William event in Great Britain, also proved popular in second place, noted for its great loud, big and boisterous crowd and long demanding track.

The small ski resort three hours north of New York City in Windham in the United States, took third place with a particular mention for its organisation as well as the welcome and enthusiasm of the local population and its local community support.

The 2012 World Cup will return to all three venues.

Four cross: Fort William rewarded for its efforts

In 10 years of World Cup and World Championship hosting, Fort William has risen to the top as the Best Four Cross World Cup event of 2011. Its success was helped by a new track.

Val di Sole, in Italy, which in 2008 hosted the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships, was also well-liked and took second place. The Austrian resort of Leogang in third place is creating a buzz with its permanent four cross track, designed by the German rider Guido Tschugg. Leogang will host next year's Mountain Bike World Championships although there will be no four cross World Cup in 2012.

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