Most Hudson Valley locals know Windham as a fall-winter town. Tucked within the high peaks of the Catskill Mountains, the area is a hotspot for leaf peepers in autumn and avid skiers and riders during the snowy months. But many may be unaware of the town’s international summer attraction: the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup.The Union Cycliste Internationale, the worldwide governing body of cycling based in Switzerland, organizes the yearly competition in a number of cities around the world. This summer, it’s already hit Australia, Germany, the Czech Republic, and Canada; after passing through Windham (the only world cup site in the US), it will move on to France.
The cup is an entertaining blend of international and small-town. It brings male and female athletes from all over the world to compete in events and training in downhill and cross-country bicycling. This year’s competition will also include opportunities for spectators to compete—the Ride the Plank Challenge, an attempt to bike across a pond on only inflatable tubes and wooden planks, and the Red Bull Berm Challenge, a one-on-one race between to steep berms. Visitors can enjoy an indoor and outdoor bicycle expo, a block party in the town of Windham, a DJ and laser lights show, and a race for kids.
Windham’s event is set apart from other cup races in that it is funded almost entirely by private donations and the resources of Windham Mountain. A truly local effort, it relies on the work and support of racing enthusiasts and volunteers to continue each year.
The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup will be held from Thursday, August 7 to Sunday, August 10 at Windham Mountain. VIP ticket packages are available for purchase online, and more information can be found at (518) 943-3223.