Pietermaritzburg scoops MTB champs
The 2014 MTB marathon world championships will be held in the greater Pietermaritzburg area, it was announced on Thursday.
“It’s a big feather in the cap of Cycling South Africa and the pursuit of their vision to attract international events at the highest possible level in South Africa,” said event director Alec Lenferna.
The announcement was made at the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) board meeting in Salzburg, Austria.
The 2014 event will follow hot on the heels of the August 2013 MTB downhill and cross country world championships, also to be held in Pietermaritzburg.
“Winning this bid also helps to cement Pietermaritzburg as a major global centre for top-end international cycling competition, and to pursue the city and the province’s dream of making Pietermaritzburg South Africa’s ’Cycle City’,” Lenferna added.
The city has been fortunate to host an unprecedented number of international cycling events, from the BMX World Championships and World Cup meetings, to the MTB World Cup this year and the 2013 MTB World Championships for seniors and juniors, preceded by the Masters World Champs.
In August this year the city will host the final of the UCI World Cycling Tour, effectively the amateur Masters road cycling world championships, over 112km out and back from Alexandra Park.
The Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg is one of a handful of venues worldwide where the downhill and cross country competitions can be staged at the same venue. “In fact we are spoilt for choice when it comes to venues for staging MTB competition because we have such a well established culture of MTB riding in South Africa,” said Lenferna.