New calendar for mountain bike UCI World Cup and World Championships, and Olympic and Paralympic qualification system for Tokyo 2020
29 Jun, 2020
The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has approved a new calendar for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup as well as the dates of the next UCI Mountain Bike World Championships presented by Mercedes-Benz.
The measures were approved by the UCI Management Committee, which met last week during an extraordinary Covid-19 related meeting at the initiative of the UCI President David Lappartient. The UCI Management Committee also gave its approval for a new qualification system for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, adapted following the postponement of the events to 2021.
Since cycling competitions were halted mid-March, the world health crisis has taken a heavy toll, with UCI noting around 1,000 events postponed or cancelled at the request of their organisers. This represents 45% of the UCI International Calendar. After road cycling, mountain bike is the hardest hit: it counts for 30% of the postponements and cancellations (road 40%) and has seen 45% of its events affected by the coronavirus.
With a view to the resumption of the 2020 cycling season, set for 1st July 2020 – 1st August for the UCI WorldTour and UCI Women’s WorldTour – the UCI has given priority to the UCI World Championships and rounds of the UCI World Cup when drawing up the new UCI International Mountain Bike Calendar.
The 2020 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships presented by Mercedes-Benz for cross-country, initially scheduled to take place in Albstadt (Germany) from 26-28 June, had to be cancelled. The UCI has now announced that the town of Leogang (Austria), which was already due to host the 2020 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships for downhill presented by Mercedes Benz, as well as the 2020 Red Bull UCI Pump Track World Championships, has accepted to add the cross-country specialties (cross-country Olympic, cross-country relay and E-mountain bike) to its programme.
The UCI World Championships will take place in Austria from 5-11 October 2020. The UCI World Championships for the mountain bike specialities Eliminator, Four-cross and Marathon will take place at the following dates and venues:
- 2020 UCI Mountain Bike Eliminator World Championships: 23 August, Leuven (Belgium)
- 2020 UCI Four-Cross World Championships presented by Mercedes Benz: 10-11 September, Val di Sole (Italy)
- 2020 UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships: 24-25 October, Sakarya (Turkey)
As for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, the series was initially to comprise ten rounds (six for cross-country Olympic/cross-country short track, eight for downhill). As a consequence of the pandemic, four organisers were obliged to cancel their event: Losinj (Croatia), Fort William (Great Britain), Vallnord Pal Arinsal (Andorra) and Mont-Sainte-Anne (Canada).
The new calendar, which spreads from next September to November, comprises six destinations, of which three will host two rounds.
2020 Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Calendar
- 5-6 September: Lenzerheide, Switzerland (XCO/DHI)
- 12-13 September: Val di Sole, Italy (XCO/DHI)
- 19-20 September: Les Gets, France (XCO/DHI)
- 29 September-4 October: Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic (XCO) – two rounds
- 15-18 October: Maribor, Slovenia (DHI) – two rounds
- 29 October-1st November: Lousa, Portugal (DHI) – two rounds
For the National Championships for mountain bike and BMX Racing, the UCI would like to clarify that it will leave national federations free to decide the dates and that the points from these championships will be integrated into the UCI Ranking on 31 December 2020.
Concerning cyclo-cross – following the publication of the UCI WorldTour and UCI Women’s WorldTour road calendars, and the calendar of UCI mountain bike events – the UCI is now working with its partner Flanders Classics and in collaboration with the different organisers on the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup for the 2020-2021 season. More information will be communicated soon.
The UCI Management Committee has also approved the qualification systems for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games after the postponement of these events to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Following the UCI’s proposition, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has accepted that the Olympic quotas already allocated for road and track cycling be maintained. As a reminder, the qualification period for these two disciplines finished respectively on 22 October 2019 and 2 March 2020.
For BMX Freestyle, mountain bike and BMX Racing, for which the qualification period should have ended respectively on 11 May 2020, 27 May 2020 and 1st June 2020, the UCI notes that the ‘IOC replied favourably to the following proposition’…
Mountain bike: The points awarded at two weekends of the UCI World Cup during the 2021 season will be added to those taken into account in the ranking of 3 March 2020. The weekends are still to be determined and will be communicated at a later date.
BMX Racing: The points awarded at two weekends of the UCI World Cup during the 2021 season and at the 2020 UCI BMX World Championships will be added to those taken into account in the ranking of 3 March 2020. The weekends of the UCI World Cup are still to be determined and will be communicated at a later date.
BMX Freestyle: The points awarded at two weekends of the UCI World Cup during the 2021 season will be added to those taken into account in the ranking of 3 March 2020. The weekends are still to be determined and will be communicated at a later date.
Concerning cycling events at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, given that the event has been postponed one year, the UCI Management Committee has approved a modified qualification system based on the principles applied for the Olympic qualification process mentioned above. This is awaiting approval from the International Paralympic Committee.
UCI President David Lappartient said “The announcement of the 2020 UCI World Cup calendar and the holding of the 2020 UCI World Championships is excellent news for mountain bike, a discipline greatly affected by the consequences of the coronavirus.
“It is another step, after the announcement of the professional road cycling calendars, towards a resumption of the cycling season from this summer. The confirmation of the Olympic and Paralympic qualification systems will also make the future clearer for our athletes, who will be able to move forward with their training and competition schedule with a view to the Tokyo Games next year.
“Our calendars remain dependent on the international health situation, but we are moving in the right direction, and I thank the cycling family that has again demonstrated its sense of responsibility, its solidarity and its courage in these times that are extremely difficult for everybody.”