Community Matters April 2012

Windham to host international mountain bike World Cup for third year

Windham bike World Cup
For the third year in a row, the world’s best professional mountain bikers will converge on Windham Mountain as the town hosts the eighth in a series of 10 World Cup events held all over the world. The 2012 edition of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup makes 10 stops worldwide with the Windham event taking place from June 30 through July 1.
This year, a much more serious story underscores race preparations. Windham (both the town and the mountain) suffered devastating losses after Tropical Storm Irene and Hurricane Lee swept through late last summer. The damage was monumental, businesses were ravaged and houses swept downstream.  “The people of Windham are tenacious and the community rallied around amazing support from near and far to work to get the mountain and town ready for ski season and, eventually, the World Cup,” said Race Director Nick Bove.
The sidewalks on Main Street have been replaced.  Basements that were buried in six feet of mud and debris are clean.
“We are all fighting hard to come back, working to create challenging race courses and looking forward to welcoming back the international racing community this summer,” Bove added.
The good news — with the Summer Olympics a few short weeks after the races at Windham, Windham will be the last, best place in the U.S. to see members of the U.S. Olympic Mountain Bike Team and other international team racers prior to the games.
Windham World Cup organizers are planning many community events again this year, including cross-country and downhill racing for all levels of ability, a block party and a concert, among other activities, to continue previous year’s efforts to involve racers and spectators alike in celebrating the uniqueness of the Windham area.
Windham international mountain bike World Cup
Last year, more than 1,800 racers from 30 countries participated in the events and 16,000 spectators and 120 media representatives from all over the world were on hand for the weekend.
“So many people – riders and spectators alike – told us that they had a terrific time in Windham last year and we promise that we will live up to their high expectations for 2012,” said Bove.Windham is the eighth stop on a tour that also visits Pietermaritzburg, South Africa; Houffalize, Belgium; Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic; La Bresse, France; Val di Sole, Italy; Fort William, Great Britain; Mt. Sainte-Anne, Canada; Val d’Isere, France; and Hafjell, Norway.
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