As was revealed on this site in December 2001, Scotland has been selected as the venue for the first high-profile World Cup Mountain Bike Downhill competition ever to be held in the UK. And it was a deal secured by a proactive IBD. The all-singing, all-dancing press conference officially announcing the staging of the Tissot UCI Mountain Bike World Cup at Fort William on 1st-2nd June was held today in Edinburgh. Riders Steve Peat and Crawford Carrick-Anderson will be "consultants".

World Cup race at Fort William gets £150k lottery cash

This event is part of the eight venue Tissot UCI Mountain Bike World Cup series which

determines overall World Cup rankings. The event, in association with and sportscotland, will take place at the Nevis Range ski area near Fort William on a 2.6km purpose built track.

On 1 and 2 June between 250 and 300 competitors from more than 25 nations will take part in both the DH and 4-Cross competitions. The backdrop will be Ben Nevis, Scotland’s highest mountain.

Mike Jardine of event organisers Rare Management said: "This will be one of the biggest and most exciting events ever to hit British mountain biking and the Scottish Highlands. Since pulling this World Cup together at very short notice, the level of support

and interest, especially from UK riders, has been fantastic.

"We’re promising a weekend of extreme action, entertainment and fun in and around Fort William so keep the Golden Jubilee weekend free for an event that will cater for all the family."

Steve Peat, the UK number one downhill rider, ranked eighth in the World, World Championships Silver Medallist and winner of two World Cup Downhill competitions in 2001, said: "Having the first World Cup Downhill and 4-Cross of 2002 here in the UK means a lot to me. To be able to ride in front of a home crowd is going to be unreal! I am so stoked that Fort William got the race."

Financial support has been secured for the event from both sportscotland and VisitScotland. In December it was said the event needed £250 000.

Alastair Dempster, Chairman of sportscotland, said: "The sportscotland Lottery Fund is proud to announce the award of £100,000 from our Major Events Programme to support the Mountain Bike World Cup. We are particularly pleased that this prestigious event will be held at the The Off Beat Downhill Bike Track, at Nevis Range, as it was built with the

help of the sportscotland Lottery Fund with the intention of providing the Highlands with a world class sporting facility.

"Sportscotland is keen to attract major sporting events of this calibre to Scotland, not just for the economic benefits but also because it gives us achance to showcase our world class facilities, demonstrate our ability to manage high profile events and allow Scottish athletes to compete at elite level on home soil."

Willie Macleod, Director of Industry Services, VisitScotland, said: "Cycling in Scotland is a key attraction for many outdoor enthusiasts who come to experience our fabulous natural environment. We have terrain and landscape that leaves many of our rivals envious and allows us to cater for all levels of cyclist."

VisitScotland is providing £50 000.

The World Cup Mountain Bike event at Fort William will showcase the first

ever 4-Cross competition, a new event for the 2002 series. In 4-Cross, four

riders start together, battling down a special course with jumps and terrain

changes. A new course is in the process of being designed by Kona’s Scott Beaumont.

In order to develop the existing Downhill track to World Cup standard

organisers will carry out a number of changes and modifications to the

course. Steve Peat and a number of other top UK riders including Crawford

Carrick-Anderson, Scotland’s No 1 and Stuart Thomson, former British Junior Champion, will act as consultants on this project.

The organisers are keen to stress competitive mountain biking can be a family spectator sport and are in the process of planning a full programme of family

activities and spectacular events in the Event Village over the duration of

the two-day event. As well as mountain biking equipment stands there will be

demonstrations, have a go sessions, displays, competitions, autograph

sessions, live music, shops and street theatre entertainment.

The Tissot UCI Mountain Bike World Cup at Fort William will be a ticketed event and ticket price details will be announced shortly.

The other dates in the World Cup series are:

May 18-19 Madrid, Spain

May 25-26 Houffalize, Belgium

June 1-2 Fort William, Great Britain

June 8-9 Maribor, Slovenia

June 29-30 Mont Ste Anne, Canada

July 6-7 Grouse Mountain, Canada

July 13-14 Telluride, USA

August 7 ­ Sept 1 Kaprun, Austria (World Championship)

September 7-8 Les Gets, France (World Cup Finals)


For more information on the sportscotland Lottery Fund:

For further information on outdoor activity holidays in Scotland:

For further information on accommodation in and around Fort William:

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