The Bike Park on Maribor’s Pohorje plateau will after a few years long break again become the world’s venue for mountain bike competitions in the category of downhill. The organisers, company Marprom and the Mountain Bike Association Pohorje, are promising to prepare a high-quality level event with an attractive accompanying programme on 27th and 28th of April 2019 and on the 2nd and 3rd May 2020. The UCI Mountain Bike World cup will be hosted by the City of Maribor.
Maribor’s downhill track will open the 2019 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup season; the April edition of the Cup will be the first in the line of 10 World Cup competitions worldwide. The 2019 Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup will bring together the best downhill athletes that will race down the toughest and the most challenging tracks towards the World Cup Champion title.
However, this will not be the first downhill race for the second largest Slovenian city. In 1999, Maribor hosted the first UCI World Cup and already for the first hosting won the UCI Rainbow Award for best World Cup downhill of the season. Maribor then hosted seven more World Cups; the last one was held in Maribor in 2010. In April 2018, though, one Cup was already held in Pohorje – and it was the European Mountain Bike Cup.
Organisers expect around 250-300 athletes who will ride down the World Cup track, also called Black Track, which is around 2.6km long and has an elevation drop of 450m. In addition, a few thousand visitors are expected to arrive in Maribor, and a few million people will watch the competition broadcasted on television.
»Sports tourism is one of our key tourist products which we will continue to upgrade through various partnerships and, thus, follow the national tourism development strategy. The fact that Maribor’s Pohorje as a sports destination also hosts top athletes and organisers of competitions at the highest level, represents an important part of excellent tourism results of the Maribor – Pohorje destination. That’s why we also welcome the return of competitions for the Mountain Bike World Cup to Pohorje,« said Doris Urbančič Windisch, director of the Maribor – Pohorje Tourist Board.
With hosting the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2019 and 2020, Maribor is furtherly stretching its position as a city of sports. Namely, Maribor is a proud owner of the European City of Sports 2018 title so winning the UCI World Cup bid has just proved even more how Maribor is serious in its dedication and brilliance in organising and hosting huge sports events of a world’s format.