The UCI have revealed details of the inaugural UCI Snow Bike World Championships, set to take place in the French ski resort of Châtel on February 10-11.
The discipline is “directly inspired by alpine skiing” according to a UCI press release issued on Friday. Two competition formats are scheduled for the World Championships – the Super-G and dual slalom, which are both also alpine skiing formats.
The Super-G event, otherwise known as the super giant slalom, is usually a ‘speed’ event in alpine skiing, with less emphasis on technical skill. It will be held on a 1,957-metre-long course with 600 metres of vertical drop and 25 metres between gates.
The dual slalom is already a mountain bike event with riders competing head-to-head on a downhill course. In Châtel, the racers will be taking on a 510-metre-long course featuring 155 metres of vertical drop. The competition will see riders battling it out in heats ahead of a final head-to-head fight for the rainbow jersey.
The rainbow stripes of world champion will be awarded to men and woman in both Super-G and dual slalom, with the UCI recommending that competitors use downhill mountain bikes with regulated studded tyres for use on the snow and ice.
Each nation participating in the World Championships may enter a maximum of 15 riders per gender, with the full list of starters set to be published by the UCI on February 1.
Speaking at the announcement unveiling the UCI Snow Bike World Championships host last June, UCI president David Lappartient hailed the Worlds as a “key moment” for the discipline.
“The awarding of the first UCI Snow Bike World Championships to Châtel signifies a key moment in the structuring of the discipline at world level,” he said. “At a time when ski resorts are increasingly keen to diversify their range of activities, snow bike presents them with a new opportunity.
“This winter sport is a new addition to the mountain bike specialties that have been growing strongly in the tourism sector for several years now and are increasingly practised from spring to autumn.”
World Championships ambassador, former mountain bike racer Cédric Gracia, said that the Worlds will be “something totally new” for cycling.
“We’re going to see something totally new in the world of cycling. It’s about technique, analysing the snow, reflection and strategy. It’s going to be incredible!” he said, while local racer and French snow bike champion Pierre Thévenard noted the difference between the two events featured at…