April 17, 2008 – A World Championship for Students (WUC) has never taken place in the Netherlands. This year from May 21-25, Nijmegen will be the first Dutch city ever to host the World Cycling and MTB Championships for Students. Participants in previous editions: Slava Ekimov (valet for Lance Armstrong), Jeannie Longo (Olympic Champion, 1996) and Jevgeni Berzin (winner Giro d’Italia, 1994), but also Dutch top cyclists as Servais Knaven, Theo de Rooij and Herbert Dijkstra.
Nijmegen won organizing rights from FISU (FÃ©dÃ©ration Internationale du Sport Universitaire) competing against the cities of Prague and Bangkok. This is partly due to the beautiful Nijmegen countryside which lends itself for cycling in un-Dutch difference in altitude; along the dikes of the river Waal and gives place to mountain biking in the wooded areas of Groesbeek, only a stone throw away from the German Reichswald. This is also the first time in student sports a World Championship Mountain Biking will be held.
The 25 competing countries will send their best cyclists aiming to win one of the eight golden medals. Among these countries: Belgium, Germany, France and Great Britain, but also Guatemala, Burundi, South Africa, Indonesia and Japan.
The Dutch national team will be selected by Royal Dutch Cycling Union head coaches Egon van Kessel (for cycling) and Leo van Zeeland (for mountain biking). Expectations are high with the Dutch national team winning four golden, two silver and one bronze medal in the 2006 event. The organizing committee, composed solely of students is supported by Marianne Vos, World Champion Cyclist and former student at the Radboud University Nijmegen.
NOC*NSF chairman Erica Terpstra will open the World Championships on May 21. The four-day program comprises the disciplines mountain bike cross-country, mountain bike marathon and individual time trial. The event will end with the most popular discipline in cycling: the road race.
- Wednesday, May 21 – Opening ceremony
- Thursday, May 22 – Mountain bike cross-country
- Friday, May 23 – Individual time trial cycling
- Saturday, May 24 – Mountain bike marathon
- Sunday, May 25 – Road race cycling
All disciplines will be held for men and women.
More information on courses, participating countries and sponsors can be found at www.wucc2008.com.