Robe Catches the Action at 2020 MTB World Cup
Robe was the main local sponsor of the 2020 Mercedes-Benz UCI MTB (mountain bike) World Cup staged in Nové Město na Moravě, Czech Republic, and follows up the company’s involvement with the 2018 event.
Rescheduled from May due to Covid-19, the five-day biking action-fest spanned the end of September / start of October and saw two back-to-back seat-edge World Cup races! World Cup Number 1 featured XCC (short track) and the main XCO races for men and women followed by World Cup Number 2, also with XCC and XCO races for both men & women ... all on the tough, extreme and exacting hilly woodland courses for which this location is famous!
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, for the first time the event was staged without live audiences around the courses. However, broadcast live on Czech national TV and streamed live via Red Bull TV to mountain biking and adrenaline sports fans worldwide, the audience was massive and more appreciative than ever!
Robe was extremely proud to be a part of this ground-breaking event that saw the participation of around 2000 riders and team members from all over the world, plus a limited number of media outlets present.
The rules were strict! Mask wearing was mandatory in public – in line with newly reintroduced rules in the Czech Republic, and teams were encouraged to form bubbles in advance and remain strictly in their own zones for the duration of the event.
All the side events, parties, presentations, and after-race activities were cancelled to ensure that competitors and their teams stayed separate and remained as safe as possible.
Riders were tested for Coronavirus several times throughout the week and had to be negative to continue.
Despite the very different atmosphere this year, it didn’t quash enthusiasm for the event, which saw some outstanding performances and cycling, and Robe was extremely proud to be a sponsor.
“I was impressed with the organisers – both local and international – with their determination to go ahead and present this event in a Covid-safe and responsible environment,” comments Robe CEO Josef Valchar.
“I know just how difficult that is and the attention to detail and logistics required to deal with all the public health requirements and extra elements,” says Josef, adding “it was a great achievement that again brought lots of positive energy and fantastic sporting skills and action to the region.”
As a main partner, Robe’s presence – on well-positioned banners and therefore on all the camera streams – was highly visible on the demanding woodland tracks around the Vysocina Arena, and especially on the tense uphill and downhill flash-points where the races are so often decided!
As most of the race trails were in the woods which were not closed to the public, some hardcore fans rocked up – masked and socially distanced as Covid is taken extremely seriously in the Czech Republic – and cheered on the riders as they navigated the courses.
Robe’s international marketing manager, Pavel Nemec, who was instrumental in ensuring Robe’s presence was maximised, concluded, “It was amazing for all of us to be involved, supporting the local and international mountain biking communities.
“As with any sporting event, it would have been great to have spectators there, however, the streaming coverage was fantastic and really captured the action and atmosphere, bringing it right back to anyone watching!”
Like Josef, Pavel echoed the importance of the Czech Republic hosting high profile live sports like this, especially during this unique and challenging time.
Anyone wanting to catch up on the races can find some thrilling mountain biking action here:
Michal Cerveny, Jan Nemec / mtbs.cz