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When we heard the news of a brand new City Downhill World Cup Series being launched, we were curious to find out more - so we had a chat with Jana Vasova, founder of the series, to find out more about what it is and where it is headed.
What is the City Downhill World Cup (CDWC)?
CDWC is an upcoming World Series in Urban Downhill racing, which we are setting up as a new dimension of gravity racing, with the aim of further promoting the sport in general and engaging a wider audience.
For 2014 we will have rounds in Brazil, Chile, Slovakia, as well another European city, which I am negotiating with right now. The idea is to join up the most popular existing races for the first years, and then later on to expand the series and take it to the most dynamic and prestigious metropoles of the world.
Check out the series trailer here:
Who are the people behind the CDWC?
EXTREME SPORT FABRIK s.r.o. is a new established events management company. I am the owner, I have 7 years’ experience in marketing, sales, events organization, and working with the media.
For the creation of the CDWC I have enlisted the help of Filip Polc, one of the very best Urban DH racers. Filip will help with the design of all the urban downhill race tracks and in general with the launch and promotion of the series. We have also brought onboard Denisa Nemcova to help with event and marketing management for this year’s pilot round (the Bratislava City Downhill on June 22, 2013). Of course we will also work with the local organizers of each round.
How did the idea come about?
I have been following the UCI DH WC circuit for 3 years, and going to the races I did not really see significant evolution or growth of the sport or the number of spectators.
At the same time I was really impressed with how strong the Urban DH scene is, both from the media and spectator side. I never really saw such crowds at any UCI DH World Cup, so I decided to approach the individual Urban DH races and try to pull the organizers together, find the win/win deal and create the global series.
Who will be able to race in the series and why should they?
It is going be an invitational race series for about 60 riders. We will invite the top international riders and the top local riders in order of different rankings (national and international).
Our plan is to cover all the travel, accommodation and food expenses for the top 5 running ranked riders, with a 15.000 EUR total prize purse available for each round. Furthermore we will support the teams with space for their pit areas, and organize a banging awards event at the last round every year.
Catering and hospitality for riders during race day and of course a good afterparty...these would be further good reasons to race the series, without mentioning the strong media coverage (including creating and filming a documentary movie from the series).
Have you already secured sponsorship for the main series, or will that follow the trial event in Bratislava scheduled for this year?
The plan is to invite the potential sponsors of the City Downhill World Cup to see the Bratislava City Downhill, to show them the level of organization and racing I intend to provide for the whole series, and to discuss the conditions of cooperation.
The Urban DH races draw massive crowds, including people who are not necessarily DH or even cycling fans in general already. Do you think over time this could help bring back mainstream media interest in the sport?
For the Bratislava pilot event, I am going to produce a live broadcast, and there is already interest to show it live in local mainstream TV.I am also going to negotiate with Eurosport (for the European rounds) and Globo TV (for the South American rounds) for the series. They both already provided a live stream from Urban races in the past, so I am sure we can find a good solution.
How specialized is the Urban DH discipline? Do you feel that any downhill racer can do well in this series, or does it require a particular skill set?
I am pretty sure most of the World Cup DH riders can do well, the only major difference is that you need to adapt to the race track in one day during about 4 training runs and then be ready for the race. Some riders can get fast quite quick on a track, but others need to spend more time before they are up to speed (including top DH riders).
Any final thoughts?
I am convinced we can do this and that the series has a big future, me and my team are working hard to create a professionally run series that will be ready for 2014. For sure, we still need to find the general partners for the project, so that’s the main focus for this year. Ultimately I hope that the City Downhill World Cup will refresh downhill racing, show the sport to the masses, and help to promote the riders in mainstream media worldwide.
For more information about the series contact Jana Vasova at: email@example.com.
We for one think this is really exciting and wish Jana and the team all the best with the series! - VitalMTB