March 15, 2008 – The UCI has published the list of 2008 UCI Mountain bike Teams. This year, 95 teams are registered compared with 66 in 2007, representing an increase of 43%.
This dramatic increase is partly due to the growing number of teams registered in the United States (14 teams compared with 8 last year), in Germany (11 teams) and in Italy and France (each with 10 teams).
The other contributing factor is the increase in the number of downhill and 4-cross teams, which now represent 40% of the teams, compared with 52% for the cross-country Olympic and marathon (the remaining teams are mixed, comprising cross-country and downhill specialists).
The first UCI Mountain bike Teams appeared in 2000 with 196 riders forming 30 teams. These figures remained stable until 2005 (37 teams, 233 riders) before literally exploding in 2006 (59 teams, 311 riders), to reach record numbers in 2008.
For the first time this year, the UCI Mountain bike Teams will display a logo on their jerseys proving that they meet the UCI’s strict quality criteria, particularly in the administrative, financial and ethical areas. The logo also facilitates recognition by the media and sponsors.