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UCI World Cup Finals

Originally our plans had us driving further upstate towards Niagara Falls and then on towards Lake Placid New York near the Canadian border. In looking for RV spots and evaluating the travel distances we ended up coming across a posting for this mountain bike race.

The UCI World Cup last took place in the United States over five years ago. The race series is primarily a European event that strings together the best locations for riding and the best riders in the world to compete for the overall World Cup championship. Windham Mountain bid for and received the rights to hold this race making it the first World Cup final to take place in the United States.

With this new destination in mind we found that if we stayed in Windham we could reduce our total mileage by almost 1000 miles and still see some beautiful areas in New York. With all of this worked out we fast forward to the weekend of the actual race.

The last UCi World Cup race to take place in the United States true almost 20,000 fans to the middle of nowhere. That was five years ago. For this Windham event the best we can guess is that they may be had 2000 people show up to watch, needless to say it was a disappointing turnout. Fortunately for us it allowed front row seats for all of the events and easy access to everything.

On Friday evening the small town of Windham held a street fair in celebration of the race. The event included a live band that was very good by the way, street performers including fire jugglers, a trials bike rider, and roller derby exhibition. It all made for a fun evening in the small mountain town.

Saturday we arrived during the women’s race and made our way up course to watch the men’s cross country pass through a narrow corridor in the trees just before the finish line. It was a neat viewing spot the combined bike race with the peaceful wooded spot. After the cross-country race we made our way over to the 4X course.

4X combines downhill mountain biking, a slalom race, and four riders at one time for a very you are viewer friendly race. We rode the chair lift to the top of the course and made her way back down to a technical rocky section that was destined to be a great viewing area for crashes and action.

As we found our spot the racers were going through their pre-race practice runs confirming with a few nasty crashes that we were in for an interesting treat. At about the same time we introduced ourselves to a gentleman viewing the race next to us who ended up being the father of one of the best new downhill mountain bike racers in America. During the course of our discussions we learned that he is from Moreno Valley in California and his son was a motocross racer who happened upon the mountain bike seen. Following up on the downhill race, that took place after we left, it turned out that his son ended up finishing fourth on the day.

After a day out in the sun watching all the various events we returned home content with our choice to stay in the area. Windham Mountain will be hosting a World Cup race again next year and with the momentum and enthusiasm they showed for this race next year should result in a much larger crowd.

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