Mountain biking emerged in California in the 1970s as an alternative activity. While riding a bike off-road wasn’t revolutionary, the invention of a new breed of bike that thrived on such terrain was;
These bikes had wider tyres, quicker gear changes, drum brakes, and innovative suspension. As a result of the increased mobility afforded by these bikes, an entirely new sport—mountain biking—emerged.
The Downhill Relay Repack
Those who ride with the Velo Club Mount Tamalpais in California are often regarded as the people who first formalised mountain riding as a sport.
They came up with the idea for the Repack Downhill Race, which was staged frequently between 1976 and 1979 just beyond San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge. A wide variety of cyclists from all around the country showed out to compete, and the media took notice.
In 1983, the United States hosted its first-ever national mountain biking championships. Europe and Australia both saw rapid growth in the sport’s fan base. By 1990, the International Cycling Union (UCI) had sanctioned the inaugural mountain bike world championships.
Soon after, mountain biking was officially recognised and included as an Olympic sport at the 1996 Games in Atlanta, Georgia, with a cross-country competition for both men and women. Since then, there have been zero adjustments to the schedule.
Famous athletes in this field include Julien Absalon of France, who won gold in both the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games in Athens and Beijing, respectively.
How Come There is no World Championship to Compare To The World Cup?
The 2018 UCI World Championships will be held at Les Gets. Les Gets is the epicentre of this event, which runs from August 24th to the 28th. Les Gets is overjoyed to play host to the Championships once again; the town previously hosted them in 2004.
Mercedes-Benz, Oakley, and Go Pro are just a few examples of the official partners that demonstrate the magnitude of this event. In addition to this, they will also be hosting matches in the World Cup in 2021 and 2019.
None of the nine matches of this year’s World Cup will be played in France. It all kicked out in Brazil back in April, and the grand finale will be held in Italy at the start of September. World Cup standings will be updated to reflect the results of the World Championships in Les Gets.
So What if I Get Tired of Watching the Races?
Don’t worry, there will be lots of other activities to keep you occupied, such as DJ sets and concerts, a children’s balancing bike race, demonstrations, treatment areas, and even Brazilian percussion ensembles drumming their way through the streets.
After all the buzz of this week calms down, we can start planning for the Paris Olympics in a few years. Les Gets has been designated as a “Terre de Jeux,” or “Land of the Games,” making it an approved training site for the XCO competition at the Paris Olympics.
In Les Gets, you’ll find teams and champions from all over the world getting ready to compete. All of us here are extremely excited.