You say bicycle reminds you of Novi Sad? Me, too. But when I tell you that Novi Sad has been the organiser of mountain bike race for years now? And the race is ridden at the Petrovaradin Fortress for the second time!
Via stairs, cobble, grass or across the ramparts, a weekend ago, we were watching the best. Among them, even though not on two wheels, OPENS too.
“We primarily want to thank the Novi Sad Bicycle Club which invited us to be a part of International MTB Petrovaradin Fortress Cup – mountain bike race, the first race in Serbia in an environment like this, Petrovaradin Fortress. We believe that by sport, we open the door so we will always support such pioneer steps and welcome young world champions, and cheer for ours!”, Nataša Igić, OPENS Institution Cooperation Coordinator said.
The second International Bicycle Race MTB Petrovaradin Fortress Cup was held in Novi Sad at the Petrovaradin Fortress. 134 best cyclists from Serbia, region and Europe competed in 14 categories. The race is in the official calendar of UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) so it brings 60 points in the qualifications for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
“Last year, we got great marks by the international commissar, so this year this is the race of first category, which makes it much more interesting for the competitors from the entire world. We have more than 130 applied competitors from more than 16 countries of the world, including Olympic and world champions and that tells a lot about the quality of the race. 60 points are interesting for us in Serbia, but also the countries of the region where some competitors come from, such as Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Bosnia, where everyone are striving towards the form for Tokyo, and that is why they have come to Novi Sad today”, Nemanja Vajs, the race director says.
The potential in the growth of the first International MTB race is also seen by The City of Novi Sad which has supported the race.
“This was something new for Novi Sad, and it has potential to become authentic for Novi Sad, especially because we have an amazing resource such as the Petrovaradin Fortress. The City of Novi Sad supports the race because we want to develop each branch of sport. I hope that there will be even more participants next year and that we will bring this race to the higher level”, Miloš Vučević, the Major of Novi Sad says.
The next level could lead to the organisation of the European Championship in the mountain biking at the Petrovaradin Fortress, which has already been supported by the City and the Government of the Province of Vojvodina.
“In the following years, we plan significant activities related to this discipline of mountain biking, because we want to get the organization of the European Championship in 2021. We are already negotiating with The City of Novi Sad and Cycling Federation of Serbia and I think we have good chances for that in the following period, which would be extremely important for our biking”, Vladimir Batez, Province Secretary for Sport and Youth says.
By the way, there is no race organized like this in the entire world. Apart from the attractive path, ridden across the old Fortress and a part of the Suburb, the race is interesting because it is open for public so the visitors had the chance to pass next to the path passed by the racers during the ascent to the Fortress.