By VeloNews Interactive
Nearly two months after the cancellation of the World Cup stop in Whistler, Canada, the UCI has announced that Grouse Mountain will replace the famed ski area as host site for the year’s first mountain-biking “triple.” Downhill/dual Round 3 and cross country Round 4 of the World Cup series will take place July 4-8 at the small ski resort, which is just 15 minutes from downtown Vancouver.
The event will be put on by Gestev Inc., the organization behind the numerous World Cup races at Mont-Ste-Anne, Quebec, and last year’s cross country in Mazatlan, Mexico.
Grouse Mountain was one of two venues competing to replace Whistler, which cancelled the World Cup stop in January amid growing financial concerns. Sun Peaks resort, a ski area 45 minutes from Kamloops, British Columbia, was the other location vying for the event.
Initially the UCI was reportedly hesitant to place the event at Grouse Mountain because of the area’s heavy reliance on a tram to transport participants and spectators. But when shown that the tram, known as Skyride, could bring 1200 people up the mountain each hour, those fears dissipated.
Facilities at the top of Grouse include five restaurants, but there are no on-mountain accommodations. Because of the close proximity to Vancouver, however, athletes and fans will be able to ride to and from the venue if they wish.
The cross country will be on a 5km loop that is very technical with no flat sections.
The downhill will be 2.1km long, with no pedalling sections. It will start at the top of Grouse Mountain, where there is an incredible view of Vancouver.
The dual will have three separate courses, where events will take place at altitudes between 2800 and 3700 feet. Andrew Shandro will design both the downhill and dual courses.
This will be the first major mountain-bike race at Grouse. The last big event held there was a World Cup giant slalom ski race in 1998.