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The UCI Awards 11 UCI World Championships and Approves the 2021 UCI International Calendars

6 rounds of DH and XC + Olympics and World Champs on the schedule for 2021 as the world grapples with COVID-19.

The UCI Awards 11 UCI World Championships and Approves the 2021 UCI International Calendars

Meeting on 24 and 25 September in Italy during the 2020 UCI Road World Championships in Imola - Emilia-Romagna (24-27 September), the Management Committee of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) awarded numerous UCI World Championships for the 2021-2026 period and took important decisions in areas such as support for those involved in road cycling during the Covid-19 pandemic and safety.

The UCI Management Committee awarded 11 UCI World Championships (in a total of eight countries and for five disciplines), here are the relevant ones for mountain biking:

2025 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships: Wallis Canton (Switzerland)
These UCI Worlds will be special in that they will bring together the mountain bike specialties (cross-country – Olympic, team relay, short track, Marathon and E-mountain bike, downhill, enduro and pump track) which will take place in different renowned alpine resorts in the Wallis canton, all of which have extensive experience in the organisation of mountain bike events.

2026 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships: Val di Sole (Italy)
Val di Sole is one of the uncontested Meccas of off-road. The region hosted the UCI Worlds for mountain bike in 2008 and 2016 (downhill only that year) and is currently preparing to welcome the event in 2021. Several rounds of the UCI World Cup have also taken place there, as have the UCI Four-cross World Championships (six times so far).

The UCI is pleased to have been able to award these events in circumstances that are nevertheless difficult. It should be noted that due to the Covid-19 pandemic which has been affecting all regions of the world for several months, some of the UCI World Championships which should have been awarded these last two days will now be awarded at the Management Committee’s September 2021 meeting to enable potential organisers of the concerned events to finalise their bid files in the best possible conditions. Among these events are the 2025 UCI Road World Championships which will take place, for the first time in their history, on the African continent, as well as the 2027 UCI Cycling World Championships which, after their inaugural edition in 2023 in Glasgow and Scotland, will also bring together the UCI Worlds for all cycling’s disciplines over a period of around 10 days.

The UCI is pleased that despite the difficult situation, it has been able to finalise the 2021 UCI International Calendars for numerous disciplines and find solutions that take into account the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games to 2021. The staging of the events in question will nevertheless depend on the development of the health situation in the regions concerned. The UCI Calendars have been approved and subsequently published on the UCI website, here are the ones relevant for mountain biking:

2021 World Cup Downhill Schedule:

  • 24 Apr-25 Apr 2021Maribor, SLO
  • 05 Jun-06 Jun 2021 Leogang, AUT
  • 12 Jun-13 Jun 2021 Fort William, GBR
  • 03 Jul-04 Jul 2021 Les Gets, FRA
  • 04 Sep-05 Sep 2021 Lenzerheide, SUI
  • 18 Sep-19 Sep 2021 Snowshoe, USA

2021 World Cup XC Schedule:

  • 08-09 May Albstadt, Germany
  • 15-16 May Nove Mesto, Czech Republic
  • 05-06 June Leogang, Austria
  • 03-04 July Les Gets, France
  • 04-05 September Lenzerheide, Switzerland
  • 18-19 September Snowshoe, USA

2021 Olympics (postponed from 2020)

26-29 July - Tokyo

2021 World Championships

24-29 August - Val Di Sole (XCO, XC Short Track, XC Relay, Downhill, e-MTB, 4X)

In a period marked by the Covid-19 pandemic, the UCI Management Committee decided to extend to the first six months of the 2021 season the application of certain measures for those involved in road cycling that were introduced for the reopening of the 2020 season. This decision had been approved the previous day by the Professional Cycling Council (CCP) with regards to UCI WorldTour events. These measures were communicated by the UCI on 5 May. Among the renewed measures are the relaxation of several rules linked to the participation of teams in events and to the replacement of a rider with a last-minute positive Covid-19 test, as well as the waiving of UCI International Calendar registration fees for events cancelled in 2021 due to the Covid-19 crisis. 

The members of the UCI Management Committee commended the progress made when it comes to the care of riders suffering concussion following a crash. Concerned with protecting the health of athletes, the UCI, based on work carried out by a group of experts who met under the direction of the Federation’s Medical Director Prof. Xavier Bigard at the 2019 UCI Road World Championships, has drawn up a protocol identifying three distinct phases: that of a rapid diagnosis on-site that will determine whether the rider can continue the race or needs to receive medical attention and, if he/she continues the event, a monitoring of the athlete during the competition at the finish and the next morning to identify any alteration to his/her condition; that of the implementation of an active recovery programme for riders recommencing physical activity after a concussion; and that of management and supervision when returning to normal training and competitions.

The protocol has now been finalised; it will be published in the coming days and will be sent to concerned parties.

The UCI Management Committee approved the 2021 budget which will be presented to the UCI Congress in November and also reviewed the latest forecast for 2020.  The Tokyo Olympic Games aside, the 2020 financial impact of the Covid-19 crisis has been carefully managed. The three key margin generating events for the UCI, namely the UCI Road World Championships, the UCI Track Cycling World Championships and the forthcoming UCI Mountain Bike World Championships, have all been maintained, albeit with reduced margins. Whilst the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021 remain a hugely important source of revenues to the UCI, the UCI Management Committee is confident about the Federation’s long-term financial stability.

Finally, the Management Committee members reaffirmed the UCI’s determination to prevent the appearance of any form of racism in cycling and to encourage diversity in the sport itself and its governance, via both its regulations and the activities of the UCI World Cycling Centre, which has been promoting universality since its opening some 20 years ago.

At the end of the two days of meetings, the UCI President David Lappartient declared: “We are pleased that we have been able to award numerous UCI World Championships and approve the 2021 UCI International Calendars for our different disciplines, which provide a solid basis for the upcoming seasons despite the current world health crisis.

Important decisions were also taken concerning the reinforcement of measures aiming to ensure safety at races, including the extension of the obligation of vehicle drivers in the race convoy to attend courses and the establishment of a protocol to take care of riders suffering from concussion. Safety is the responsibility of all stakeholders and their implication will also be increased in the future.”

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