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Local mountain bikers will be pitting their skills against the world’s elite as the UCI Cross Country World Mountain Bike Championship returns to Dalby Forest.
The spectacular event is being staged on 21/22 May in the 3,440 hectare Forestry Commission beauty spot, with a frantic road race through the streets of Pickering on Friday evening (20 May) raising the curtain on a weekend of mountain bike mania.
Last year teams from across the globe rated Dalby as the top World Cup venue on the international circuit.
Then over 10,000 fans watched the fabulous action unfold and this time round another bumper gate is predicted - this is the biggest mountain bike event to be held in Britain ahead of the London Olympics. Many riders competing in Dalby will be pushing for qualification points to compete in next year's Games.
Not to be outdone, local bikers are also signing up to complete a timed lap of the black rated World Cup course on the Saturday (21 May) as part of the famed citizen's race - the Dalby Dare. Amongst them is James Risker, 27, from Wykeham, who said it’s like being able to play on the Wembley turf just before the FA Cup Final: He enthused:
“I wanted to give it a go last time but got too tied up during the World Cup event,” says James, who has been off road biking for 15 years and who works as a mechanic and guide at Purple Mountain Bike Centre in Dalby.
“The course is pretty tough to say the least but what a fantastic opportunity to use the same trail as the world’s elite and compare a lap time.”
A giant tented village in Adderstone Field will be the centrepiece of Dalby’s World Cup weekend with trade and exhibition space sold out. Engineers have also made tweaks to the World Cup course, explained the Forestry Commission’s Martin O’Vastar:
“Feedback last year on the quality of the trail was brilliant, but we want to refine it further after talking with British Cycling and the UCI. The length has been shortened and the aptly named Worry Gill, which forced many bikers to dismount and run with their bikes, has been made slightly easier so more riders can stay in the saddle. It’s still a tough ask, but this is the sport’s pinnacle.”
Such is Dalby’s reputation that the Forestry Commission has been giving advice to the designers of the Olympic cross country mountain bike course being built in Essex. That event will replace the Dalby World Cup round next year, but top racing returns to North Yorkshire in 2013.
Tickets to take part in the Dalby Dare, which includes a weekend spectator pass, are available from www.ticketmaster.co.uk priced £33.50. Spectator tickets are also available from the same internet outlet, costing from £5 to £52, including discounts for buying in advance. They will also be available on the gate.
Notes to Editors
5pm Pickering town centre - Pro Sprint Eliminator
10.30am World Cup Olympic Cross Country juniors
12.30pm World Cup Olympic Cross Country Under 23 men
3pm Dalby Dare
10.45am World Cup Olympic Cross Country - Women Elite
12.45 Dixon Dare
2pm World Cup Olympic Cross Country - Men Elite
- British Cycling has worked in close partnership with UK Sport, Welcome to Yorkshire, Yorkshire Forward and the Forestry Commission, with the support of a number of local partners including Ryedale Council and North Yorkshire County Council, to deliver the UCI Mountain Bike Cross Country World Cup.
- The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands. More information at www.forestry.gov.uk/YorkshireandtheHumber
Media calls to Richard Darn on 0113 346 6085. Mobile 0775 367 0038.