February 7, 2013
The UCI has announced the small town will host the 2014 Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships, meaning that the event is coming to Norway for the first time.
The racing will be split between Lillehammer, famous for hosting the 1994 Winter Olympics, and Hafjell, the nearby ski resort who staged alpine skiing events during the games. Luckily there won’t be much snow around when the event takes place in September.
Hafjell hosted its first mountain bike World Cup event in 2012 and was the runner up in UCI’s best downhill event award, coming second only to Fort William.
Scheduled to be held from 2.-7. September, it will be the great finale after two weeks of mountain bike racing in the area, with the Mountain Bike Masters World Championships in the last week of August and Birkebeinerrittet, the world’s largest mountain bike event in terms of participants, sandwiched in between.
To let you know what to expect of next year’s Worlds, here’s a clip from the event last year. Hopefully the commentary will be better though.
Four-cross on its own
This year’s 4X World Championships will be separated from the rest of the events as it will be held in Leogang, Austria, in conjunction with the World Cup finals instead of Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
Finances and estimated poor attendances is the reason behind the move.
“The extra expenses for the organiser of building a four-cross track, together with the very tight competition schedule since the introduction of the eliminator racing, are the main reasons behind this separation,” UCI Off-Road Manager Peter van den Abeele said.
“In addition, Africa does not have a tradition of four-cross and we would definitely have seen a lower than usual participation if we had left the world championships for this format in Pietermaritzburg.”
It’s still unknown whether four-cross will be back with the rest of the Worlds in 2014,