UCI decision expected within two weeks
By Jason Sumner, Associate Editor
There has still been no official word from the UCI regarding the fate of the cancelled mountain bike World Cup triple in Whistler, but VeloNews has learned that at least two Canadian locations, Sun Peaks Resort and Grouse Mountain, are in the process of submitting bids to replace Whistler, and are being considered by cycling’s world governing body.
Sun Peaks, a ski area 45 minutes from Kamloops, British Columbia, has already been awarded this year’s Canadian national mountain biking championships. “They’ve been running Canada Cups there for a long time,” said Aaron McConnell of Altitude Sports, the company that’s put on the World Cup races in Canmore, but is not directly involved in the Sun Peaks bid. “The problem is people will have to take a flight to Vancouver, then get a connector to Kamloops, then make the drive. But I still think the crowds would be good. It would draw in people from Calgary and Vancouver.”
Grouse Mountain, a smaller resort, is just 15 minutes outside Vancouver, Canada’s third largest city, with a population of more than two million people. This bid is being put together by Gestev, the company behind the World Cup races at Mont-Ste-Anne. “We’re doing some negotiations with the owner of the resort right now, but everything else has been looked at,” said Gestev’s Patrice Drouin. “The next thing we’ll do is turn everything over to the Canadian Cycling Association, who will present it to the UCI.”
Drouin estimated it would be another two weeks before a final decision is reached, but seemed to like the chances of Gestev’s bid. “I feel very good about this,” he said. “(Grouse Mountain) is a nice venue, and it’s close to a major city that has lots of outdoor oriented people.”