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Wetter round of International MTB-Bundesliga race cancelled

The women start round one of the Bundesliga series.

The women start round one of the Bundesliga series. (Image credit: Armin M. Kästenbräck)

The Bundesliga International Mountain Bike Series has lost another of its rounds for 2010. The July 3-4 round, scheduled for Wetter / Ruhr will not be held as the organizers, MBC Bochum und RSC Tretlager Wetter, announced Wednesday after the partial withdrawal of a major sponsor's support.

"With the greatest of regrets, we must tell you that we have to carry forward our plans for the race in Wetter / Ruhr and that there will be no elite cross country race this year,"  said race Co-Chairs Sylvia and Dirk Schaten Wienen according to the German federation's website. "After the Ruhr bicycle festival, in the context of the economic crisis, lost a sponsor from the previous year, the two clubs MBC Bochum and RSC Tretlager Wetter tried to carry on."

But a 50 percent cutback in another sponsor's commitment sealed the fate of this year's edition of the race. "We'd hoped to restore elite racing in the Rurh area, but from the outset, we were operating with a budget shortfall," organizers admitted.

"The news hits us hard. There is also the risk that the international prestige of the MTB Bundesliga will suffer. The Mountain Bike Coordinator of the German Cycling Federation (BDR) stressed that the federation had no problem with us organizers and noted that mountain biking, unlike other cycling disciplines, had thus far been largely spared from the economic crisis."

A replacement for the Bundesliga race, which was to occur the week prior to the European Championship, is being sought, but the chances of finding one are believed to be small.

The associated Ruhr Bike Festival will go on, but as a stripped-down version, though still including a marathon race. Wetter is also still planning to host the German Championship in 2011.

Earlier this year, the St. Märgen event withdrew from the Bundesliga series due to financial reasons. After the Under 23 race in Leißling was called off due to opposition from hunters, only four events remain in the German national series.

International MTB-Bundesliga 2010 - Revised
April 17-18: Round 1 - Münsingen (Cat. 1)
May 15-16: Round 2 - Heubach (Cat. HC)
June 12-13: Round 3 - Albstadt (Cat. HC)
September 18-19: Round 4 - Saalhausen (Cat. 1)

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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.