Oh My Word!

I don’t know if I want to cry or scream for joy! After the news I just read, I couldn’t help but smile broadly like a Cheshire cat.

Recent figures released by the International Cycling Union (UCI) confirmed that the international broadcast time of the Pietermaritzburg round of the Nissan UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, presented by Shimano, sponsored by DCM Chrome was a total of nearly 940 hours.

This broadcast time translates to an estimated global TV audience of 2.134 billion people in 188 countries!

Yes, you read that right! Not millions, but billions!

You do realise that this figure puts the MTB World Cup in the same league as other major sporting tournaments, such as Wimbledon, FIFA World Cup and the Rugby World Cup? Finally! MTB has hit the big time!

This is not only a crowning achievement for MTB, but also for the city of Pietermaritzburg, which hosted a fantastic event (big up PMB!). MTBers, I think we should take a bow because our sport is about to become the coolest thing since Nutella on toast!

Bandaged Jack

Well Done, Pietermaritzburg!

In its recent 15 page report, the UCI applauded the host city of Pietermaritzburg, the region of KwaZulu-Natal, event organisers, and the local MTB community for the successful hosting of the first round of Nissan UCI Mountain Bike World Cup last month.

They were so impressed by the standards of the event that they’ve recommended Pietermaritzburg to be part of the worldwide programme for 2010. The UCI have also suggested that the town put in a bid for the 2013 UCI World Championships! Wow, talk about a big compliment!

Last, but definitely not least, a big thank you must be sent out to the 17 000 people who came out to support the event. Thanks to all of you, it managed to generate at least R19 million for the city and surrounding areas, with more than R15.5 million being spent on accommodation, restaurants and the retail sector.

The UCI has most certainly noted the phenomenal support and were extremely impressed by the passion of MTB in this country.

Well done, Pietermaritzburg and South Africa!

Ricky in Spandex

Dusi Mfula 2009

WOW! I’ve just read that nearly 700 riders have entered the Jonsson Dusi Mfula 2009, which takes place on 6-7 June, between Pietermaritzburg and Durban, along the route of the celebrated Dusi Canoe Marathon.

It’s looking quite interesting with 203 CEO’s of companies riding over 275 senior managers competing. Maybe that weekend will your best bet to sneak into the company and catch up on all the work you’ve been postponing?

The Dusi Mfula is not about winners and losers, it’s more of a social event than anything else. So if you’re a hardcore cyclist, don’t be upset if others aren’t competing as hard as you.

I think I should suggest to my boss that I’ll ride on the same team as him…When we win (which we naturally will), I’ll ask him about that raise I think I deserve. Perhaps, a Nando’s burger will also help sweeten the deal MWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

For further info, please visit www.dusimfula.co.za.

Bandaged Jack

MTB World Cup on TV

Alright, maybe for some reason beyond your control, you may have missed the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, presented by Shimano, in Pietermaritzburg. Firstly, shame on you – you should’ve been there no matter what. Secondly, never fear because Supersport is here!

wileSupersport will be airing two 30-minute specials on the event at the end of April and beginning of May. The first episode will be broadcast on 27 April at 21h00 on SS6. And the second episode will be shown on 5 May at 20h00 on SS5. For further info on repeats, click here.

I’m pretty happy that Supersport is finally getting involved in the whole MTB scene. It’s refreshing to see a sport besides soccer, rugby or tennis getting some decent coverage. Even there website is jam-packed with info about the whole cycling scene. Two sweaty thumbs up to the channel of champions!

Pointless trivia: did you know that over 16 000 tickets were sold at the MTB World Cup?

Ricky in Spandex

And the winners are…

Man, oh man! What a weekend of cycling! This last weekend was the greatest weekend of my life. Screw wedding photos or birth of kids, this weekend’s pics are going straight into my wallet!

The Nissan UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, presented by Shimano, sponsored by DCM Chrome in Pietermaritzburg, was beyond amazing. It provided the blood, sweat and gears which will be immortalised in the history of MTB.

beautiful2In the downhill men’s category, local Maritzburg boy, Greg Minnaar, kicked some major butt again to claim first place ahead of Michael Hannah and Steve Peat. In the downhill women’s category, Tracy Moseley celebrated her 30th birthday with a first place finish ahead of Emmeline Ragot and Sabrina Jonnier.

In the men’s cross-country event, Spaniard Jose Hermida took the honours ahead of Julien Absalon and South Africa’s own Burry Stander. In the ladies’ cross-country event, Elisabeth Osl finished top ahead of Irina Kalentieva and Lene Byberg.

For full detailed results of the MTB World Cup, please visit www.uci.ch.

If you were at the event, please share some stories with us. Tell us what you thought of it and if you’ll go attend another event in the future.

Ricky in Spandex

Reminder: MTB World Cup!

Just in case you forgot, the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, presented by Shimano, starts TODAY! If you ain’t in Pietermaritzburg yet, you better get your ass into gear, because from today till the 12th of April, the cycling world is going to be gathered in KZN for the event of the year.

MTBCome now! The minimum price for a ticket is only R30 – that’s so cheap, it’s almost a steal! What else you going to be doing over the long weekend? Listening to boring family stories around the fire again? Hey, hey, hey???

Stop with the excuses, get in your car or go to the airport and get to Pietermaritzburg, by any means necessary. Yes, I know the town is generally pretty dead, but this weekend will be the exception to the rule.

You can purchase tickets through the official event website at www.mtbworldcupsa.co.za as well as at the event itself.

P.S. If you see a guy riding with a cast on his arm – don’t laugh because that may be me!

P.P.S. Happy Easter or Pesach – choose whichever is applicable to you!

Bandaged Jack

German efficiency at the MTN SA Cup

Zee Germans are coming! Zee Germans are coming! Aaah, you gotta love Jason Statham in Snatch, just for that saying.

mtn-logoThe invasion started this weekend with Topeak Ergon’s 34-year-old German racer, Wolfram Kurschat, beating all in his path to win the fourth round of the MTN National Mountain Bike Cup in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday.

Kurschat’s performance was even more impressive considering that he started in 11th place and managed to overtake world-class competitors, such as Burry Stander, Nino Schurter and Florian Vogel.

Spain’s Jose Hermida finished in second place, just one podium place ahead of South Africa’s Burry Stander. Current World Champion Christoph Sauser could only manage a tenth place finish after suffering two punctures – ouch!

Consider this event as a warm-up for the MTB World Cup this weekend. I’m not even going to ask if you have tickets already…because if you’re a true cycling fan, you’ll be there – no questions asked.

Bandaged Jack

MTB World Cup

The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, presented by Shimano, is almost upon us! From 10-12 April, Pietermaritzburg better prepare itself for a cycling extravaganza that is going to rock South Africa like never before!

The best part about the MTB World Cup is that it’s going to be held over the Easter weekend, so it’s officially public holiday time and everyone can come down and watch. Forget about the stupid Jokefest, with boring bands like Snoring Patrol and Pillow For My Valentine, rather spend a minimum of R30 and watch the supreme cycling event of the year. You’re gonna be able to get up close and see some of the top cyclists in the world in action.

So you better hurry up and get tickets, because they are selling out like chocolate cake at fat camp.

You can purchase tickets through the official event website at www.mtbworldcupsa.co.za as well as at the event itself.

It’s going to be a skill, speed, and power frenzied affair! I can’t wait for the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup!

Bandaged Jack