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Dubai misses out on UCI mountain bike calendar

Dubai misses out on UCI mountain bike calendar

Dubai: Dubai will not figure in the set-up after the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announced its new calendar for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup along with dates for the next UCI Mountain Bike World Championships.

The dates and events were approved by the UCI Management Committee, which met late on Friday during an extraordinary meeting at the initiative of the UCI President David Lappartient in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The calendars of UCI events for the other disciplines – except road – will be announced at a later date, but as soon as possible, as per the post-meeting statement released by the world governing body for cycling.

The UCI Management Committee also gave its approval for the new qualification system for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, adapted following the postponement of the events to 2021.

Dubai was scheduled to host the opening round of the UCI MTB Eliminator World Cup at The City Walk on March 6. But, the event was cancelled at the last minute due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Since cycling competitions were halted in early March, the world health crisis has taken a heavy toll on all sport, with around 1,000 events postponed or cancelled at the request of organisers. This represents 45 per cent of the UCI International Calendar. After road cycling, mountain bike was the hardest hit as it amounts to 30 per cent of the postponements and cancellations (road is 40 per cent).

The UCI has now given priority to the UCI World Championships and rounds of the UCI World Cup while drawing up the new UCI International Mountain Bike Calendar.

The 2020 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships presented by Mercedes-Benz for cross-country, initially scheduled to take place in Albstadt, Germany from June 26 to 28, had to be cancelled.

The town of Leogang, Austria which was due to host the 2020 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships for downhill, as well as the 2020 Red Bull UCI Pump Track World Championships, has accepted to add the cross-country specialties (cross-country Olympic, cross-country relay and E-mountain bike) to its programme. The UCI World Championships will take place from October 5 to 11, 2020.

The world governing body has also announced dates and venues for the rounds on the 2020 Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup. The series was initially to comprise 10 rounds (six for cross-country Olympic/cross-country short track and eight for downhill).

As a consequence of the pandemic, four organisers were obliged to cancel their event, namely Losinj (Croatia), Fort William (Great Britain), Vallnord Pal Arinsal (Andorra) and Mont-Sainte-Anne (Canada).

The new calendar, which spreads from next September to November, comprises six destinations, of which three will host two rounds.

Calendar for 2020 UCI World Championships

August 23 UCI Mountain Bike Eliminator World Championships, Leuven, Belgium;

September 10-11 UCI Four-Cross World Championships presented by Mercedes Benz, Val di Sole, Italy

October 24-25 UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships, Sakarya, Turkey

Calendar for 2020 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

September 5-6 Lenzerheide, Switzerland (XCO/DHI)

September 12-13 Val di Sole, Italy (XCO/DHI)

September 19-20 Les Gets, France (XCO/DHI)

September 29-October 4 Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic (XCO) – two rounds

October 15-18 Maribor, Slovenia (DHI) – two rounds

October 29-November 1 Lousa, Portugal (DHI) – two rounds