OK, it wasn’t much of a stretch for the Euro-centric International Cycling Union to pick French-speaking Mont Saint Anne, Quebec to host the 2010 mountain bike world championships. The organizer and courses at the venue, which has hosted mountain bike events for 20 years, are tops amongst races.
But short of picking a world championship venue in the United States, Canada is about as close as American spectators will get to seeing riders slip on a rainbow jersey in person without flying across the Atlantic. The UCI signing a multi-year contract with the organizer of the Windham, New York World Cup stop is a clear step toward trying to reengage America’s interest in international mountain biking. By piggy-backing World Cup races in upstate New York and Quebec, logistics for both teams and spectators is a little less daunting.
And if spectatorship at Windham can be grown over the next two years, who knows, maybe the UCI will make a stretch and let the U.S. host the worlds again. It’s been a while since Vail, Colorado in 2001.