The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has announced that the first edition of the UCI Snow Bike World Championships will take place on 10 and 11 February, 2024, in Châtel, Haute-Savoie (France).
Two competition formats on snow, inspired by alpine skiing, will be on the programme for this first edition of the event: super-G and dual slalom.
The Super-G races will take place over a single run on a slope with a vertical drop of between 350 and 650 metres depending on the route chosen. The distance between the gates will be around 20-25 metres, as in alpine skiing. The racers will start one by one at regular intervals.
The dual slalom (comparable to the parallel slalom in snowboard and alpine skiing) is an event made up of a series of elimination races in which two riders go head-to-head on two parallel slalom courses. They 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. The courses will take approximately 30 seconds to descend.
These two competition formats will be held on downhill mountain bikes and will be open to all riders holding a licence from a UCI-affiliated National Federation.
Further information on the technical details of the competitions will be published on the UCI website in due course.
UCI President David Lappartient said: “The awarding of the first UCI Snow Bike World Championships to Châtel signifies a key moment in the structuring of the discipline at world level. At a time when ski resorts are increasingly keen to diversify their range of activities, snow bike presents them with a new opportunity. This winter sport is a new addition to the mountain bike specialties that have been growing strongly in the tourism sector for several years now, and are increasingly practised from spring to autumn.”
The President of the Fédération Française de Cyclisme (FFC), Michel Callot, said: “France is a leading mountain bike nation, which means the Fédération Française de Cyclisme takes an interest in all developments within the discipline. So it’s only logical that snow bike has been established in our country thanks to a national circuit. The awarding of the first UCI Snow Bike World Championships to Châtel celebrates the dynamism of Châtel and the Haute-Savoie region in terms of cycling, and gives concrete expression to the initiatives developed by our Federation to promote this discipline.”
Nicolas Rubin, Mayor of Châtel, said: “Snow as the backdrop for a mountain bike trail? What a great idea and a symbol for mountain sports. This first edition of the UCI Snow Bike World Championships is very welcome in Châtel and Haute-Savoie, France, and will be a milestone for the future”.
The President of the Haute-Savoie Departmental Council. Martial Saddier. said: “With the arrival of a new discipline on its territory, Haute-Savoie is once again showing that it is a land of cycling, both in summer and winter! I’m delighted by this sporting adventure, and I’d particularly like to thank the Mayor of Châtel, Nicolas Rubin, who is working to ensure that Haute-Savoie remains a land of innovation.”