According to figures announced today, this year’s Nissan UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, which was held in Fort William last weekend (6th-7th June), was the busiest recorded since the event launched in 2002.
Visitor numbers at the award-winning event were bigger and better than ever before, defying the credit crunch and reflecting the growing interest in mountain biking. With a 25% increase in numbers since 2008, figures came as welcome evidence of the event’s continuing worldwide popularity, among riders, supporters and spectators.
Showcasing Lochaber at its best, the 2009 alone event generated an estimated £2.5 million for the local economy*. Attendance figures were confirmed at 18,519 over the 3-day event, with a cumulative economic impact since 2002 of £14.2 million, which has benefited Lochaber and the Highlands.
This is the 8th year that the Nissan UCI Mountain Bike World Cup has been held in Fort William and attracted the largest crowd to date. With a supportive and passionate crowd encouraging them on, the stars of mountain biking gave some incredible performances on one of the world’s toughest and longest courses. The weather played its part, with glorious sunshine for both the 4-Cross and Downhill competition Finals.
Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer of EventScotland, the national events agency, said: “To achieve record spectator numbers at any event in the current economic climate is exceptional and proves both the strong appeal of the Mountain Bike World Cup in Fort William as well as the enthusiasm people have for events in Scotland. The weekend was an outstanding platform for showcasing Scotland as a destination and the atmosphere was testament to the nation’s renowned hospitality and passion for sport”.