Geared up for world cup

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THE UCI Cross Country Mountain Bike World Cup is set to get off to a flying start in Pickering tonight with a high-octane opening ceremony.

The event takes place in Pickering Town centre and includes a unique Pro Sprint Eliminator race which sees competitiors speed around the town’s Market Place and surrounding areas.

This will be the second year in a row that the World Cup will be staged in Dalby Forest with the opening ceremony last year a huge success.

Dalby Forest Management Director Alan Eves said: “Pickering’s Town centre is the ideal kind of place to showcase an event such as this and there is a real buzz around the town ahead of this year’s World Cup event.

“Last year was a huge success and everyone seemed to enjoy the Pro Sprint Eliminator in particular where the competitors showed off the thrills and spills of street racing.”

There was plenty of top action in last year’s eliminator before Germany’s Thomas Litscher became the men’s champion while Italy’s Eva Lechner clinched the women’s crown.

Also this evening there will be displays of bike skills, live music and entertainment with refreshments available.

Eves added: “There will be plenty going on for people to enjoy with activitites starting from around 5pm, so I would encourage people to get down to the Market Place.

“A lot of the international competitors appreciate the chance to get involved in the street race and it gives them an extra competition to get involved in.

“Hopefully it will be another great way to kick-off a top weekend of international mountain biking.”

World Cup 2011 timetable: Today: 5pm: Pickering town centre - Pro Sprint Eliminator.

Saturday: 10.30am: World Cup Olympic Cross Country juniors, 12.30pm: World Cup Olympic Cross Country under-23 men, 3pm Dalby Dare.

Sunday: 10:45am World Cup Olympic Cross Country - Women Elite, 12:45pm Dixon Dare, 2pm: World Cup Olumpic Cross Country - Men Elite.