Cairns delivers iconic MTB course for the world's best
The UCI has declared the 28th edition of the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Cairns, Australia, one of the best Mountain Bike World Championships they have attended.
UCI Mountain Bike Deputy Coordinator Simon Burney said: “We enjoyed a great week of competition, with spectacular races, and podiums reflecting the diversity of our sport. Riders performed in front of great crowds in the magnificent settings of the Cairns region.
“The success of the event and its excellent organisation confirms the successful globalisation of the discipline. We’re now looking forward to next year’s edition in Lenzerheide, another stronghold for mountain biking.”
Cycling Australia CEO Nicholas Green OAM said that he was delighted with the delivery of the event, which has been supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland, the Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing, and in partnership with Cairns Regional Council, James Cook University and Tourism Tropical North Queensland.
“This World Championship has been the culmination of three year’s work, building on our hosting of the 2014 and 2016 World Cups, and the bar was well and truly lifted this year."
Green said that having three members of the Australian Cycling Team with podium finishes made the delivery of the event all the sweeter.
“What a fantastic treat it was for fans of the sport to see Cairns locals Tracey and Mick Hannah make podium finishes in front of their family, friends and huge home town fan club.
“It made a brilliant event even more special.
“And to have young Cam Wright rise to the occasion become the first Australian UCI MTB World Junior Cross-Country champion in 15 years was another huge highlight.”
Overall, the Australian team put in a strong performance, with four men featuring in the top ten of the Elite Men’s Downhill and three women in the top ten of the Women’s Elite Downhill.
In the Cross Country, Dan McConnell and Benjamin Zwar Kvist achieved top ten finishes in the Elite and Junior races respectively and Rebecca Henderson posted a top twenty finish in the Women’s race.
Athletes and teams from around the world descended on Cairns for the sport’s most prestigious event, with 527 athletes and 46 nations participating in the Downhill (DHI) and Cross-country (XCO) over the course of five days. Total attendance across the five days was in excess of 21,000.
Ten individual Rainbow Jerseys were awarded in the Junior and Elite categories for Downhill, and Junior, Under-23 and Elite categories in Cross Country.
Unique among international sports, the reigning world champion in each discipline and category is instantly recognisable as they compete in the distinctive jersey over the next twelve months.