The first edition of the UCI Snow Bike World Championships will take place in the French resort of Châtel, in Haute-Savoie, on 10 and 11 February.
Two competition formats on snow, directly inspired by alpine skiing, are on the programme for this inaugural edition of the UCI Snow Bike World Championships: super-G and dual slalom.
The Super-G races will descend the Aity piste then the Stade Linga (total of 1,957 metres long with a vertical drop of 600 metres). The distance between the gates will be at least 25 metres, as in alpine skiing. The riders will start one by one, a minimum of 40 seconds apart, for a single run.
The dual slalom (comparable to the parallel slalom in snowboard and alpine skiing) will take place on the Linga piste, which is 510 metres long with a 155 metre vertical drop (around 30 seconds of descent). The competition will be composed of a series of elimination races in which two riders go head-to-head on two parallel slalom courses. They will compete against each other in two heats, switching courses for the second heat. The rider with the fastest combined time advances to the next round of the competition, up until the final.
Titles of UCI World Champion will be awarded in both specialities, in the Women and Men categories.
The UCI recommends that participants compete on downhill mountain bikes, although this is not mandatory. The same bike must be used for both competition formats. The use of studded tyres will be regulated according to the condition of the piste.
The races are open to all UCI-affiliated National Federation licence holders aged 17 and over.
Each country may enter a maximum of 15 riders per gender. The list of entrants will be published on the UCI website on February 1 at 14:00 CET. The start orders will be published at a later date.
Ambassador for the 2024 UCI Snow Bike World Championships, multiple UCI Worlds medalist in the 1990s and early 2000s (downhill, dual slalom and four-cross), and Junior downhill UCI World Champion in 1995, Cédric Gracia said: “We’re going to see something totally new in the world of cycling. It’s about technique, analysing the snow, reflection and strategy. It’s going to be incredible!”
He predicts that technically strong athletes will have the greatest chance of becoming the first UCI World Champions for snow bike, be it downhillers, enduro specialists or athletes moving across from other downhill sports such as ski: “But they would need a very strong cycling base as well,” warns Gracia, who will also be at the start.
Snow bike French Champion Pierre Thévenard, who lives in Châtel, cannot wait to be part of the UCI Snow Bike World Championships taking place on his doorstep: “This event is going to raise the profile of snow bike and build its reputation thanks to the UCI World Champion jersey. The competition will be tough. The winner of the Super-G won’t necessarily win the dual slalom, which is a little bit slower but really technical. Racing two at a time can be destabilising, with pressure right to the end. For the spectators it will be a real show.”
2024 UCI SNOW BIKE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS RACE SCHEDULE:
- Saturday 10 February: Women’s Super-G and Men’s Super-G (from 10h30 CET)
- Sunday 11 February: dual slalom (from 9h00 CET).
For more information, please consult the 2024 UCI Snow Bike World Championships Technical Guide.