JULY 2015 - MOUNTAIN BIKING
Windham World Cup Festival
By Pam Allen
Windham Mountain and its spectacular downhill and cross-country courses will once again capture international attention as they host more than 1,200 professional and amateur athletes for this year’s UCI Mountain Bike World Cup. This is the fifth time that Windham – the only U.S. stop on the nine-city tour – has hosted the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup. This event brings riders from 130 teams and 41 countries to compete on Windham’s award-winning Olympic cross-county (XCO) and downhill (DHI) courses.
This year, Windham Mountain Resort brings another level of excitement as it opens its new lift-service mountain bike park. The million-dollar bike park, designed by premiere bike park developer Gravity Logic, opens in early July with cross-country and downhill trails, a pump track, and skills park for riders of all ages, interests and skills. Two of these trails are pro UCI World Cup downhill trails that make the trip to Windham a must-visit for expert mountain bikers.
The World Cup runs Aug. 6-9, bringing dozens of community events including a kids’ fun race, block party, concert, fireworks, and other activities for spectators and racers. The UCI races are the most elite mountain bike races in the world. Windham Area Recreation Foundation and Windham Mountain Resort bring this event to the area.
During the World Cup, intermediates and experts are encouraged to test their skills in the citizen races. These races allow riders of varying skills to ride against the best pros in the world in XC, DH and pump track. Kenda Race the World XC is scheduled for Aug. 8. The Eastern States Race the World DH is on Aug. 9. Cyclists may register at racewindham.com. The Kids’ GNH Lumber Fun Race on Aug. 8 is free to all.
Windham is a resort community of 1,700 people in the northern Catskills. The resort’s investment in the World Cup and new bike park supports its commitment to a growing cycling culture and it becoming a year-round destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
Windham began introducing cyclists to the mountain in the early 1990s, when it hosted its first USA Cycling races. Since then, bikers from around the world have challenged themselves on Windham’s technical, rocky terrain and daunting ascents on a downhill renowned for its final drop – nicknamed Peaty’s Plunge for elite downhill champion Steve Peat.
The World Cup season also visits Lourdes, France; Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic; Albstadt, Germany; Fort William, Great Britain; Leogang, Austria; Lenzerheide, Switzerland; Mt. Sainte-Anne, Canada; and Val di Sole, Italy. This year’s racing includes newcomers China, Indonesia, Iran and Israel. For more information, visit racewindham.com.