Situated in the idyllic Czech countryside, right in the very heart of the Czech Republic lies the town of Nové Město Na Morave. A small town situated in a picturesque surrounding which attracts tens of thousands of spectators yearly. A bit of history...
As riders make their way through the woods in Nové Město na Moravě, the roar of cheering spectators accompanies them. The Czech World Cup has been around since 2011 and is an absolute classic in the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup.
Growth of a Classic
Ten years ago the race started as a small local race. The organizer, Petr Vaněk, had the goal of hosting a World Cup in his mind all along though. At that point, he imported Merida in the Czech Republic, and in this way, he got riders over like Gunn-Rita Dahle, Ralph Näf and Jose Hermida. It became part of the Czech Cup soon after and in 2011 the first World Cup was hosted at the venue. It was not the first World Cup hosted in the Czech Republic, Spindleruv Mlyn deserves credit for that way back in 1997.
In 2011, Jaroslav Kulhavy dominated the mountain bike season. The Czech rider's fame propelled Czech mountain biking to a new height and that very same year Nové Město hosted its first World Cup event. With Kulhavy taking the win, things could not have gone better for the local organizers. Kulhavy won five out of seven World Cups that year, as well as winning the European Championships and the World Championships. Nove Mesto's first event was named best World Cup of the year (for three years in a row) and a classic was born. The World Cup has continued up until this day, with the exception of 2016, when it hosted its first World Championships.
Spectators are a big portion of what makes an event and Nove Mesto shines bright. Numbers continued to increase year over year. Already in its first year, 20,000 spectators visited during the weekend and it has grown to an astonishing 57,600 during the 2016 World Championships.
Home for the venue is the Vysocina Arena, purpose built for the popular biathlon. With a venue which is able to host the World Cup setups plus provide spectators with a good view of start- and finish, the Czech have proven it is also among the very best of venues in more than one way. The course plays a big role; A healthy dose of man-made trails, spectator friendly access and a television coverage which is only matched at Olympic Games. Take into account the expo area, grandstands in the forest, a healthy dose of Czech beer available throughout and a side program designed to attract more than just the World Cup racers.
Local hero Jaroslav Kulhavy won twice in Nové Město (2011 and 2015) as did Catharine Pendrel (2011 and 2012). The man to beat is Nino Schurter though, as he won three World Cups in a row plus last year's World Championships title.
2016 (World Championships)
As for the future? Nové Město is poised to host another World Championships.