MTB World Cup organisers take cautious approach

Nevis Range's sponsored downhill and enduro rider, Mikayla Parton. Photograph courtesy of Nevis Range.

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Organisers of Lochaber’s biggest sporting event say it might go ahead this year – but without spectators.

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup organisers have confirmed that if the event takes place at Nevis Range, Fort William, on the scheduled dates of May 22-23 this year, it will be ‘behind closed doors’.

‘Whilst we all desperately want a return to the usual Fort William crowds and the amazing atmosphere they create, despite the progress of vaccination and planned easing of lockdown restrictions, the reality is that the World Cup on May 22 and 23 will not be possible with spectators in attendance,’ said a spokesperson.

‘Spectators have been at the heart of every World Cup and have made it the much-admired classic it has become.

‘A closed event will never be the same – but as with every other sport, if the competition is to take place it must be under very different conditions.

‘We continue to work with the UCI and relevant authorities to find a way of running the World Cup behind closed doors but this still presents numerous challenges that are, as yet, unresolved.’

All existing ticket holders will be contacted separately. They will be able to claim a full refund or carry forward to 2022 when there will hopefully be a full return to normality and crowds cheering on the best riders in the world.

PIC CAP: Nevis Range’s sponsored downhill and enduro rider, Mikayla Parton. Photograph courtesy of Nevis Range. NO F10 Parton biking 03