Thrills and spills for elite mountain bikers

THE Mountain Bike World Cup skidded to a halt last night after an exhilarating weekend of entertainment.

Thousands of spectators and more than 300 elite competitors descended on Dalby Forest, near Pickering, for the opening stage of the UCI Mountain Bike Cross-Country World Cup, which takes place in six global venues.

It is the first time Dalby Forest, which has England's largest mountain-bike trail network, has hosted the prestigious event, and organisers say it has confirmed its reputation as one of the best venues in the world.

Paul Rowlands, spokesman for British Cycling, said: "It has been a brilliant event. The races have proved fantastically popular with huge crowds coming from all over the country."

The championships were launched with a street race through Pickering on Friday night and closed yesterday with the Elite Men's Race.