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Image credit: Darren Goddard/
Gameplan Media

The schedule has been rejigged to host the Downhill (DHI) finals on the Saturday, swopping places with the Cross-country (XCO) final, which will now take place on the Sunday. The Cross-country Eliminator (XCE), which was a crowd-pleasing feature of the World Championships last year, has been dropped from the programme altogether.

Simon Burney, the MTB Sport Coordinator at the UCI's Sport and Technical Department, says dropping the Eliminator had nothing to do with the event's popularity but rather the lack of daylight hours with no options to fit it elsewhere into an already packed schedule.

“Traditionally, DHI was always on the Saturday and XCO on the Sunday,” said Burney. “It only changed a few years ago. This year we had a couple of organisers who asked about the option to switch it back, particularly Mont-Sainte-Anne in Canada who have the Commonwealth Games just three days before their event. They wanted to give the riders travelling from Scotland an extra day to get there, recover from travel, and train on the course.

“Also for the DHI riders, when they raced on Sunday, Saturday was a kind of wasted day for them, with just a short training period. This gives them a shorter overall schedule without affecting their training or competition,” Burney added.

Burney said the UCI was striving to get consistency in their event formats across all their World Cup events. “Some venues and organisers put a greater emphasis on one discipline over another, and get a larger crowd for that discipline. The only request from television is to have consistency throughout the season, both on the days of the finals of the televised events, and as close as possible the same time of day, throughout the season.”

Programme of Events 
- UCI MTB World Cup Pietermaritzburg presented by Shimano


Friday 11 April


08:30-11:45 Downhill Training


10:00-15:00 Cross Country Training


12:30-15:00 Downhill Qualifying Rounds

Saturday 12 April


08:30-11:45 Downhill Training


10:00-15:00 Cross Country Training


12:30-15:00 Downhill Finals

Sunday 13 April


09:00-17:00 Cross Country Finals

The UCI MTB World Cup, presented by Shimano, takes place at the Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg from 11 to 13 April 2014. More information can be found at www.mtbworldcupsa.co.za