WINDHAM, New York — For the past few years, the premiere mountain biking series in the world has not had an event in the United States. After previous events at western resorts like Durango, Vail and Angel Fire, the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) World Cup focused its events in Europe and Canada. Even American athletes hoping to qualify for the Olympics had to travel out of country to do so. That is all about to change, as the announcement just came in from Switzerland that Windham Mountain in the Catskill Mountains of New York will host the World Cup finals on August 28-29, 2010. World Cup champions for the downhill, cross country and 4cross events will be crowned at Windham. It will be a weekend of big crowds, big checks and big trophies.
Last summer, the resort hosted its first mountain bike in several years, a major event called the East Coast Nationals. It was attended by over 700 athletes, including Olympians Georgia Gould, Adam Craig and Todd Wells. They raved about the quality of Windham’s courses and facilities, and that word spread fast. “You could see how much expertise and hard work went into the making of the course, and it was really appreciated,” said Gould. In his blog, Craig said, “Every inch of each and every course. was manicured in some way or another.The gravity courses weren’t the usual fall line skid, they had great flow and were built with an eye toward sustainability.” Riding on that wave of praise, this summer Windham is hosting a stop on the Gravity East Series (this weekend) and the Yankee Clipper / Kenda Cup (August 15-16).
So now Windham has jumped on the world stage and is hosting a World Cup event alongside other stops in Germany, Austria, Israel, Slovenia, Switzerland, Canada, Italy and Great Britain. Needless to say, resort and community members are pleased.
“We have been told to expect some pretty incredible crowds,” says Special Events Manager Rick Hodge. “We have 428 days to prepare for this, and we intend to use every minute to ensure our success. Our first task is letting the community know what to expect, and how they can seize the opportunity to welcome the world and show off our world-class hospitality. We intend to convince new guests that they should come back for all the other activities we offer.”