Mountain Bike World Cup; a Big Success at Snowshoe
The Mountain Bike World Cup has ended at Snowshoe Mountain Resort, and Cara Rose, the Executive Director of the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau sums it up.
“It was one extraordinary event for Snowshoe, Pocahontas County and West Virginia” said Rose. “What a way to introduce the world to Natures Mountain Playground. Snowshoe is estimating between twelve thousand to thirteen thousand attendees to this event, so this makes it one of the largest events Snowshoe Resort has ever hosted, if not the largest event. The crowd was magnificent. They were friendly, were there to enjoy the experience and root their favorite racer on. It was exciting.”
The Convention and Visitor’s Bureau booth got a lot of activity at the at the event as well.
“We were there where the cross country and the short-track racing took place” Rose said. “We had a great location; we got a lot of visitors and we handed out a lot of Natures Mountain Playground swag. Visitors from around the world picked up our material and asked about other areas nearby to mountain bike.”
“Over thirty nations were represented in the races” she said, “We saw folks from Germany, Poland, Austria, Switzerland and England. Some of them had been here before, but the vast majority of them had not been, and they just loved the entire area and intend to return. I heard just really wonderful and outstanding things about our community. The campgrounds around the National Forest were really full. People were actually parked at all the trailheads, riding the trails around the county. So it just bodes exceptionally well for the fact that we are building this mountain bike destination. Not only did we get our IMBA (International Mountain Biking Association) designation in early August, but then we hosted the World cup at /snowshoe Mountain Resort.”
Rose also talked about how the visitors felt about the mountain bike trails here,
“The few people who commented about the trails said they were in great shape” said Rose. “A lot of the people come from cities, and spend a lot of time on what I call ‘groomed trails’ that are specifically designed and built for city areas. So what they were looking for and hoping to find here were back country experiences, the more rugged terrain that maybe they don’t have that much opportunity to ride in the more metropolitan areas where they are from. And they were not disappointed, They found what they wanted, and of course with the weather being just magnificent was just really icing on the cake, to make it a really great experience for all the riders, whether they were out riding around the county on the trails, or simply in the race, I heard exceptionally great things about the race course, how great it was. I read something on the Internet that it was quite possibly the best downhill race course they had ever seen.”
Rose went on to talk about the races themselves.
“They had a downhill race, a short track race and a cross country race” Rose explained. “Within each of those races, there were a couple of different categories, Men’s and Women’s within all of them, and then you have the Junior Racers, the Olympic Racers and the Elite Racers, so you had a variety of races, and in the end the people who stood on the (winner’s) podium were literally from around the world. Kate Courtney, one of the very best mountain bile racers from America did win the overall World Cup for women.”
Rose talked about the impact this World Cup race will have on local tourism.
“We will see an immediate impact! Not only did we have thirteen thousand visitors come to this event, but Red Bull TV broadcasted this around the world, so we are talking about exposure for Snowshoe, Pocahontas County and West Virginia to millions of viewers. I believe the visuals, the video footage, and the commentary about the area, the trails and the race course will drive some mountain bikers here. Obviously in the springtime when we begin our campaign for the (IMBA) Ride Center we will also begin seeing more impact.”