January 22, 2005 – The international governing body for cycling, the Union
Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has confirmed yesterday that it has awarded the exclusive management and marketing/TV rights of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup to a partnership made up of two sports companies, GESTEV of Canada and 23 Degrees Sports Management of Spain.
Both companies are delighted with the news and look forward to further developing the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup property from 2006, a property that has existed since 1991. The arrangement means that from 2006 through to 2010 inclusive, the series will be managed outside of the UCI, but naturally the UCI retains ownership of the property, and is responsible for the rules of competition.
GESTEV, which has been at the forefront of quality mountain bike race promotion since the late 1980’s, has hosted World Cup events at Mont-Sainte-Anne (CAN) since 1991 as well as at Grouse Mountain (CAN), Mazatlan (MEX), Silver Star (CAN), Mount-Snow (USA), Wellington (NZL) and Bromont (CAN) including two World Championships (1992 and 1998) and special participation to the 1996 World Championships in Cairns (AUS) and 1999 World Championships in Are (SWE).
Gestev also managed several international mandates such as Press Coordination and Sponsorship Implementation on the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup circuit for many years. GESTEV is lead by the Quebecois duo of Patrice Drouin and Chantal Lachance who have worked together on mountain bike racing for close to 20 years.
23 Degrees Sports Management S.L. is lead by former UCI Technical Delegate Martin Whiteley, an Australian based in Spain, who has attended more than 100 World Cups for the UCI between 1994 and 2000, and has since managed two very successful race teams and a number of athletes. Both companies bring different qualities and experiences to the project, but one thing remains clear, both are very passionate about the future of the sport and its World Cups.
Martin Whiteley (23 Degrees): “This represents a very important opportunity for our sport. We look forward to working in partnership with the UCI, the media, the sponsors, the venues, teams and athletes in taking the World Cup to the new level that the UCI and us have envisaged for it from 2006. We take this responsibility very seriously and we also respect that there’s a lot to do between now and 2006. We are all about listening to the voices of concern, and reacting accordingly, as well as bringing our own vision to the project.”
Patrice Drouin (GESTEV): “We are very happy to tandem with 23 Degrees Sports Management in this exciting project. Together with our partners, we expect that the mountain bike community will be very happy with our work, because we will be our own toughest critics.”
The first step of the process, determining dates for the 2006 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, is well underway, and venues will be determined later in the year, but not later than the end of August.