Mount Van Hoevenberg trails will be traveled by elite cyclists
By James M. Odato
Top cycling athletes from numerous countries will compete in a world mountain biking event at Mount Van Hoevenberg over three days next September.
Lake Placid will be one of 10 worldwide sites of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Mountain Bike World Series, a calendar released Tuesday reveals.
The Adirondack Park venue will be one of six new sites for the international competition, according to the UCI website.
Van Hoevenberg, used in the winter for cross-country skiing and sliding events, will be used for UCI Cross-Country World Cup and UCI Short Track World Cup mountain biking, according to the calendar unveiled by UCI.
Darcy Norfolk, communications director for the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA), confirmed that the authority signed a three-year contract with UCI for the competitions. It will be the first time the Essex County course will be used for something other than recreational mountain biking.
She did not have revenue information and said more details will be available Nov. 15 when tickets go on sale. Next year’s event dates are Sept. 27 to 29.
ORDA Chief Executive Officer Ashley Walden said World Cup events may not result in substantial revenues for the authority but are important to the community.
UCI said on its website that Lake Placid “will further cement the region’s reputation as a world class mountain biking destination.”
The number of men and women athletes will likely be in the hundreds. In the World Cup event this October in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada, 91 “elite” men from 26 countries and 62 women from 23 counties competed in cross-country racing. Also 68 men and 36 women under 23 years old competed in separate cross-country biking races as part of the World Cup program in Quebec.
UCI President David Lappartient said Tuesday that the expansion of the World Cup series into new regions like Lake Placid “testifies to the popularity of the sport, which the International Olympic Committee has just confirmed will be on the program for the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games.” The UCI has been partnering with Warner Brothers Discovery on the events.
Mary Jane Lawrence, chief operating officer for the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism, said her Lake Placid-based organization is expected to be briefed next week on details concerning attendance and tourism expectations.
Editor’s note: The photo has been updated to show a cross-country event.