The annual award is based on the votes of competitors, officials and media who have attended events in Scotland, Germany, France, Austria and Canada on the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup circuit. It is the second year running that Fort William has won the award.
The UCI Award for best Cross Country World Cup was awarded to St Wendel, Germany.
Mike Jardine from Rare Management, organisers of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup at Fort William 2002 and 2003, said:
"2003 has been a great year for Fort William, with international recognition of all of the hard work and
commitment from everyone involved in putting on the World Cup. This shows that the Fort William event really is the best in the World – but we can still improve. Next year we’ll be going for the best Cross Country award as
well, although we still want a really challenging course, even if some of the riders find the Forestry Commission’s Witch’s Trail too tough!"
This is the third trophy for the 2003 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup at Fort William. The event has already won the Singletrack Award for the best UK Cycling event and the Scottish Thistle Award for Area Tourism 2003.
Highlighting the sponsorship opportunities at the 2004 World Cup, Jardine said:
"’For the past two years we’ve had outstanding support from public funding bodies such as sportscotland, EventScotland, VisitScotland, Lochaber Enterprise and Highland Council as well as a huge investment in mountain bike trails by the Forestry Commission. But now we need more commercial partners to guarantee the future success of the Fort William event. Despite the amazing potential for sponsors we’ve not yet found a company who wants to benefit from the World Cup effect.
"Long term, everyone involved is thinking even bigger, with a bid to host the Mountain Bike World Championships in 2007 being seriously considered. Such a project can only happen if businesses back up what the public sector is already investing in the World Cup."