15 opportunities for gold, silver and bronze over the span of five days, includes the spectacular UCI 2020 Mountain Bike World Championships in Saalfelden Leogang. Organizers Marco Pointner and Kornel Grundner give exciting insights into how the event is organized, especially in difficult times: “We have seen ourselves increasingly responsible for making the World Championships possible for the riders, teams and sponsors, but also for the fans.”
Five days of pure action with 15 golden chances – Saalfelden Leogang, the host of the World Championships, gives the heavily adjusted mountain bike calendar a bit of security. Approximately eleven weeks before the start of the UCI 2020 Mountain Bike and Pump Track World Championships, which will take place 7-11 October, the title battles in Downhill, Cross-Country, E-Mountain Bike and Pump Track are taking shape. After consultation with the UCI, organiser Saalfelden Leogang can now officially announce the schedule for the quadruple World Championships.
The festivities will start in the usual manner with the Cross-Country Team Relay race on Wednesday, October 7. On the same day, two more medals will be awarded when the E-MTB stars, both women and men, take to the track. On Thursday, the juniors will compete for gold, silver and bronze in Cross-Country. On Friday, the men’s U23s will compete in Cross-Country. Afterwards men and women will duel each other on the Pump Track for the coveted rainbow jerseys. The Pump Track competition will signal the end of the third day of competition.
The World Championship weekend starts with the U23 Cross-Country women. In the Olympic discipline, the two Elite competitors will then give it their all on the demanding circuit. The final day of competition on Sunday offers four more decisions – all of them Downhill. First, the Junior women and then the Junior men will rocket down the Speedster, before the Women’s and Men’s Elite finish the quadruple World Championships.
Spectator situation still uncertain
Despite the uncertainty caused by the Corona pandemic and the resulting difficulty in planning, the organisers are trying to make the title races accessible to spectators. A decision on this has not yet been made. All current information is also available at: www.bikewm2020.com
“Prepared for all eventualities” – 3 questions for the organizers Marco Pointner and Kornel Grundner
Organizers Marco Pointner, CEO Saalfelden Leogang Touristik, and Kornel Grundner, CEO Leoganger Bergbahnen/Bikepark Leogang, give exciting insights into the origins of the quadruple World Championships and the organizational challenges:
How did it come about that Saalfelden Leogang now hosts the quadruple World Championships?
Marco: “The UCI contacted us and asked if we saw an opportunity to integrate the Cross-Country and E-MTB competitions of the World Championships from Albstadt into our Downhill and Pumptrack World Championships. After we checked everything internally, it was clear to us that we could tackle a quadruple World Championships and that we wanted to take on the challenge.”
What are the biggest challenges right now?
Kornel: “The short-term is not optimal and rather unusual. The tracks for the Cross-Country competitions have yet to be completed. But the biggest challenge is that we are prepared for all eventualities. We don’t know how the pandemic will develop. Thus, we are currently working on four different “corona-ready” concepts. First of all for all athletes and teams, then for the entire media sector from journalists to TV teams, for all our own employees and helpers, as well as for spectators along the track and in designated corridors. Of course, we want spectators on the track, that’s just part of it and what makes Leogang and mountain bike sport so special. But the top priority is that we can host the World Champs and not endanger anyone.”
Nevertheless, the quadruple World Championships is extremely gratifying for the Saalfelden Leogang region, isn’t it?
Marco: “Of course it’s a great thing for us, for the Saalfelden Leogang region and for Epic Bikepark Leogang. We have invested a lot over many years, have developed as a reliable UCI partner and can once again underline our status as a top bike destination. But for us, it was also about the sport, the riders and everything around it. We have increasingly seen ourselves as responsible for making a World Championship possible for the riders, teams and sponsors, but also for the fans.”
For more info, head over to www.bikewm2020.com
© Photos by: Stefan Voitl and Klemens König