Nevis Range to host 2023 downhill world championships

Mikayla Parton and Reece Wilson display the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships 'Squiggly Bike' logo from a gondola at Nevis Range. Photograph: Phunkt NO F21 - cycling worlds
Mikayla Parton and Reece Wilson display the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships 'Squiggly Bike' logo from a gondola at Nevis Range. Photograph: Phunkt NO F21 - cycling worlds

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More than 8,000 amateur and elite cyclists from over 120 countries are expected to descend on Lochaber next year after Nevis Range was officially confirmed as host for the downhill world championships as part of the first ever UCI Cycling World Championships.

In what must have been one of the worst kept secrets in Lochaber, Nevis Range at Fort William became the eighth location to be announced as part of the first ever combined UCI Cycling World Championships 2023, which will be the largest cycling event ever held.

It takes place in Glasgow and elsewhere across Scotland from August 3-13 next year and will create history by bringing 13 existing UCI World Championships together into one 11-day long festival of cycling for the first time.

With more than a million spectators and a global television audience of around one billion expected across the 11 days, it is predicted the championships in Lochaber and other venues across Scotland will become one of the world’s top 10 sporting events.

The news of Nevis Range’s selection for the event came at the weekend as the venue hosted the 2022 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, with more than 21,000 spectators enjoying world-class racing and experiencing what is to come in August 2023.

Scottish athlete and 2020 UCI Downhill Mountain Bike World Champion Reece Wilson said is excited that Fort William will host the downhill component of the ‘Worlds and for the chance to compete for a rainbow jersey in front of his home crowd. N

‘Nevis Range is one of the best and most challenging trails that we compete on anywhere in the world and will provide an amazing backdrop in 2023,’ said Wilson.

‘Obviously I wasn’t competing when the UCI World Championships were held here in 2007 but for it to come back as part of the first ever combined UCI Cycling World Championships is really special.’

Local rider Mikayla Parton, who is an ambassador for Nevis Range and finished fifth in the 2020 UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Championships, added: ‘The crowd is a huge part of what makes it so special here. I’ve never heard anything so loud and it’s a feeling I just can’t explain.

‘It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, the Fort William crowd will cheer for you and that’s why this will be an amazing venue for the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships and I can’t wait to see it here.’

In a post on its Facebook page, Nevis Range commented: ‘With over 20 years on the world downhill stage, Nevis Range is home to some of the most iconic moments in downhill mountain biking and we look forward to continuing this into the future.

‘This 11-day festival of cycling is an amazing opportunity for Scotland to celebrate itself as a world-class biking destination and we’re stoked to be a part of it!’

The 13 UCI World Championships included in the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships are: BMX Freestyle Flatland; BMX Freestyle Park; BMX Racing; Gran Fondo; Indoor Cycling; Mountain Bike Cross-country; Mountain Bike Downhill; Mountain Bike Cross-country Marathon; Para-cycling Road; Para-cycling Track; Road; Track; Trials.