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GROUSE TISSOT-UCI MOUNTAIN BIKE WORLD CUP REVISED

Courtesy of TISSOT-UCI


June 7, 2002 – Grouse Mountain. The Peak of Vancouver.


With less than one month to go until the 2002 edition of the TISSOT-UCI
Mountain Bike World Cup at Grouse Mountain, the Organizing Committee and
the Union Cyclist Internationale (UCI) are faced with the difficult task of
altering the schedule of events.


Chantal Lachance, vice-president of
Gestev, organizer of the event, explains, “We reassessed the conditions on
the cross country and downhill courses ten days ago. Grouse Mountain had
such an incredible snow season this past winter and there were still some
areas where there were more than 12 feet of snow. With safety in mind, we
had been frequently updating the UCI on the progress since then.”


At 5:30am Vancouver time today, the UCI announced its final decision.
“Gestev and Grouse Mountain had faced an exceptional snow situation and
were forced to cancel the downhill event. After daily reports from the
organizers and long meetings and discussions with all parties involved
(including teams), the UCI confirms that Grouse Mountain will remain on the
2002 World Cup calendar with the presentation of the cross country event.
Consultations with professional downhill and 4 cross teams also confirmed
that a 4-Cross event would not be feasible, even if there was a course
possibility, because the downhill cancellation would result in minimal
4-Cross participation,” confirms Daniel Baal, president of the UCI Mountain
Bike Commission from his office in France this morning.


Chantal Lachance says, “We are happy to be able to keep and present
the master discipline of mountain biking, the cross country race, here in
Vancouver, where the best Canadian star athletes are from. We have a long
month ahead to remove the remaining snow from the cross-country course but
thanks to Grouse Mountain, all the efforts will be put in place to create
the best course for the athletes. We are confident the fans will have the
opportunity to watch an action-packed World Cup with the bestathletes in
the world, and great Canadians battling to win at home.”


Three stages of the World Cup have taken place in Europe in recent weeks:
two cross-country World Cups in Madrid (ESP) and Houffalize(BEL) which both
welcomed 50,000 and 40,000 spectators, and a downhill World Cup in
Scotland. Often, venues host a single World Cup event and they are huge
successes.


The 2002 Grouse Mountain World Cup will produce a revised schedule at the
beginning of next week. The Organizing Committee is also considering
introducing other unique activities and events to the race program.
“Grouse Mountain is looking forward to hosting another world class event,”
says Scott Ellis, Vice-President, Grouse Mountain. “The safety of the
riders and our guests is absolutely paramount and we understand the UCI’s
decision. The cross country event at Grouse Mountain will attract the best
athletes from all over the world and we are excited that our local mountain
bikers are in the top of the field.” He added, “Vancouver’s ability to host
large international sporting events like the Tissot-UCI Mountain Bike World
Cup will play a key role in our drive to earn the 2010 Olympic Games.”


Chantal Lachance provides the following numbers on a Mountain Bike World
Cup. “Even with the changes adopted for the 2002 edition, the World Cup at
Grouse Mountain will attract 250 of the best athletes in the world coming
from more than 30 countries as well as tens of thousands of spectators and
approximately 75 international media delegates. This event would also
provide more than 40 hours of television viewing around the world in about
200 different international territories (5 continents)”. Chantal adds,
“Mountain Bike World Cups make a big economic impact on local tourism. For
example, in the ten years of World Cup events at Mont-Sainte-Anne, the
economic impact has grown to just over 4 million dollars per year.”


Cross-country mountain biking is an Olympic discipline which debuted in
Atlanta, where North Vancouver’s Alison Sydor won the silver medal. Eight
of out the nine cross country athletes who represented Canada at the last
two Olympics were from the Vancouver area. In the sport, an Olympic silver
medal and Canada’s twelve World Championship medals have been won by
British Columbians. Gestev Inc., a Canadian based event management company,
will be head organizer of the event with the help of Grouse Mountain. More
than 300 people from the local mountain biking community are also
volunteering their time.


Gestev is well-known internationally as a reputable mountain bike event
organizer. The company has organized more than 37 World Cups over the last
eleven years, half of them being held in Canada (Mont-Sainte-Anne, Bromont
in Quebec, as well as Silver Star and last year’s Grouse Mountain in B.C.).
The other half have been held in New Zealand, Australia, United States and
Europe. Gestev has also organized or acted as a consultant in six UCI World
Championships. World Cup tickets are available online at grousemountain.com





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