The UK will see some of the world’s best riders heading to Dalby Forest, Yorkshire this weekend to take part in the UK leg of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup. The 6km long World Cup course takes in some technically challenging riding but covers an area of just 1km so spectators will be able see riders on all parts of the course.
For the first time in history, current or former world champions from four different off-road cycling disciplines will race this weekend.
Stars lining up to take on the 6km course in Dalby Forest, Yorkshire include former Cyclo-Cross World Champion Sven Nys, current reigning Downhill World Champion Tracy Moseley and former Four-Cross World Champion Brian Lopes. As you’d expect there will be a host of XC champions including Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå, Julian Absalon and many others.
There’s also a free-to-watch urban street race, the Pro Sprint Eliminator, kicking off the weekend in Pickering on Friday. If you fancy doing a bit of riding yourself then you can get a taste for what the pros will go through in the Dalby Dare.
Competition is set to be intense and British Cycling has put together a guide to ensure spectators do not miss out on the best of the action.
The key spectator hubs are:
A familiar feature to anyone who has visited the forest before, Dixons Hollow is a man-made mountain bike playground where twists and turns, bumps and berms beg the rider to push speed and control to the limits. As its name suggests, Dixons Hollow is a natural amphitheatre for spectators and its proximity to the main event village means it’s sure to be a popular vantage point over the weekend.
One of the crown jewels of this king of courses, Worry Gill is a quiet, eerie and magical place on most days of the year, a spiral of singletrack descents and climbs that eventually suck the rider down the drain pipe like valley of Worry Gill itself. On the day of the event this is sure to be transformed into a cacophony of noise as it offers a natural and extended gallery from which riders are in sight for a long time and there is more than one opportunity to come a cropper before they descend out of sight.
The long descent out of Worry Gill tempts riders to push hard, appearing easy in places but with ample opportunity to wipe out if tiredness or recklessness outpace skill and judgement as the lap reaches its most decisive phase.
A precipitous zig-zag track that hangs off the hillside that leads to the Scout Field which is home to the Feed Zone on the course. Berms on the higher corners of the descent tempt speed but it’s the bottom of the course that provides the big dilemma and the point where the race could be won or lost as each rider faces the choice of a direct but treacherous route to the scout field or a more flowing but longer way down. Get it right and it’s the difference between victory and defeat. Get it wrong and the roles are reversed.
The World Cup weekend is a great opportunity to watch some of the world’s best riders in action ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Adults can watch Sunday’s World Cup racing for just £14, with child, family, weekend and Dalby Dare passes also available.
Other activities available in the World Cup Village include bike demos and the chance to watch technical teams at work, as well as mingling with the stars and soaking up the atmosphere of a top class sporting event.