Pietermaritzburg – Cycling South Africa has clinched another major coup with the awarding today of the right to stage the 2014 MTB marathon world championships in the greater Pietermaritzburg area.

The announcement was made on Thursday evening at the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) board meeting in Salzburg, and will follow hot on the heels of the 2013 MTB downhill and cross country world championships in Pietermaritzburg in August 2013.

Cycling South Africa won the bid to to stage the long-distance marathon world champs at the popular Karkloof mountainbiking venue which offers a testing mix of open jeep track and single track popularly used each year for the Mr. Price Karkloof Classic MTB festival.

"It's a big feather in the cap of Cycling South Africa and the pursuit of their vision to attract international events at the highest possible level in South Africa," said event director Alec Lenferna.

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"It is most encouraging to get very positive feedback from the UCI every time we stage an event." said event director Alec Lenferna after Pietermaritzburg was awarded the rights to stage the 2014 MTB marathon world championships.

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"Winning this bid also helps to cement Pietermaritzburg as a major global centre for top-end international cycling competition, and to pursue the city and the provinces dream of making Pietermaritzburg South Africa's 'Cycle City'," he added.

The city has been fortunate to host an unprecedented number of international cycling events, from the BMX World Championships and World Cup meetings to the MTB World Cup this year and the 2013 MTB World Championships for seniors and junior preceded by the Masters World Champs a week before.

In August this year the city will host the final of the UCI World Cycling Tour, effectively the amateur Masters road cycling world championships, over 112km out and back from Alexandra Park.

"It is most encouraging to get very positive feedback from the UCI every time we stage an event." said Lenferna. "Every time we successfully host an event at World Championship or World Cup level we deepen the pool of officials and administrators with the experience and ability to stage competitions to the very highest standards."

The Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg is one of a handful of venues worldwide where the downhill and cross country competitions can be staged at the same venue. "In fact we are spoilt for choice when it comes to venues for staging MTB competition because we have such a well established culture of MTB riding in South Africa," said Lenferna.

After inspecting the popular Karkloof layout, this was deemed to be the optimal choice for the bid for the marathon MTB World Champs which was successfully awarded to Cycling South Africa and Pietermaritzburg today, making the region a very rare case where these three MTB disciplines have held their World Championships.