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Canmore could host international UCI mountain bike event in 2025

New to this week's Canada Cup is an adaptive racing pilot event.

CANMORE – Over the decades, top skiers from around the world have been introduced to Canmore’s world-class venue, and now international mountain bikers could get their opportunity.

The Alberta Mountain Bike Race Association (AMBRA) has applied to host UCI mountain bike races in June 2025 at the Canmore Nordic Centre.

The local group applied for an HC race, which is one step below World Cup and one step above C1, which is the highest race level at the Canada Cup in Canmore from Wednesday to Saturday (June 12-15).

After UCI hit the brakes on Canmore hosting an event this year, AMBRA president and Canada Cup organizer Ron Sadesky is hoping some changes to the application and this week’s racing help sway decision-makers.

“We decided to go ahead with the C1 [this year], but we’re going to try to make more of an event out of it, more of a festival, and we’re going to show the UCI that we can do the things they want to do for an HC race,” said Sadesky.

“We’re hoping for a bit more of a party.”

When bikers aren’t carving local trails or out-riding grizzly bears, they can hit up the expo, beer garden and food trucks on site. New this year at the local Canada Cup is a pilot for adaptive racing for riders living with physical and cognitive disabilities on Thursday and Saturday.

Canmore is no stranger to hosting road, gravel and mountain biking events such as the Canada Cup, which has become a staple on the calendar. However, it’s not often that the resort mountain town’s summer sports have major international level competitions.

To land a UCI event, riders from 10 countries must be involved and eight of the top 50 riders in the world must participate. It’s a task easier done in Europe than North America, said Sadesky, where most UCI events take place.

He added that race organizers in Missoula, Montana have also applied for an HC event, and a partnership between the two UCI hopefuls would make sense to sweeten the deal for international riders.

“Initially, we had plans to have an omnium where if you entered both races there would be some sort of cash prizing … so we’re hoping that in 2025 more of a partnership will happen,” said Sadesky.

Logan Sadesky, the 2022 Canada Cup overall champ, has raced from coast-to-coast in Canada. He said the opportunity for Canmore to host an HC would be huge for Canadian riders and bridge the gap between C1 and World Cup events.

“A lot of people go to Europe and race World Cups too soon because there is not necessarily the races in North America that have that competition,” he said. “The course in Canmore is one of the best in Canada – it’s totally World Cup calibre to get the experience in a good field before heading overseas is the absolute way to go and I think Canmore is the perfect venue to put that on.”

AMBRA expects to hear back from UCI in the coming months about whether the application is green-lit.

Jordan Small

About the Author: Jordan Small

An award-winning reporter, Jordan Small has covered sports, the arts, and news in the Bow Valley since 2014. Originally from Barrie, Ont., Jordan has lived in Alberta since 2013.
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