Three races, one goal: ‘to become a HERO’. Born in the Dolomites, the race format of the BMW HERO Südtirol Dolomites MTB marathon is being expanded to take on new trails across the Dubai desert, as well as the lush nature of Thailand. The three competitions – in Italy, the UAE and Thailand – will help to create the new HERO World Series race circuit.
According to Gerhard Vanzi at the HERO World Series team, the new series is “An opportunity to discover new cultures on your mountain bike.”
Gerhard Vanzi is passionate mountain biker raised in the Dolomites. He originally devised the Sellaronda MTB Tour in 2008. In 2010, he organized the first HERO Südtirol Dolomites with a ‘new concept for mountain bike races’, developing the race to become the UCI Marathon World Championship in 2015.
“We are curious to find out if it is possible to propose in other destinations the same format that made the toughest marathon in the world famous,” said HERO creator Gerhard Vanzi. “And so, in the wake of contagious enthusiasm, BMW HERO Dolomites has extended its range of action to two exotic and highly attractive destinations, thus creating the HERO World Series 2020.”
The HERO World Series circuit provides for a final rider ranking. This will be drawn up according to the rules and regulations in force; and the winners will compete for a total prize pot of US$25,000.
The contacts with Dubai and the signing of the agreement date back to last year, and now the organisers can confirm that the Arab destination is ready to host the first edition of HERO Dubai from 6-8 February 2020. The event take place in the locality of Hatta. Home to a nature reserve and an area that allows a glimpse into the culture of the Emirates, the ‘territory of Hatta is striking for the atmosphere that only the desert terrain is able to convey in its genuine authenticity.’
The park 110 kilometres east of Dubai aims to become a reference destination for ecotourism, and the decision to create a permanent Mountain Bike Trail Centre represents Hatta’s desire to position itself on the international off-road bike market.
Two races have been planned, both to take place on a circuit to be repeated several times: a 72km marathon with a total altitude difference of 2,240m, which will be open to all bikers, and a 36 km UCI Cross Country test reserved for licensed member riders.
Alongside Dubai, the HERO World Series circuit is extending further east with a third stage in Thailand, and more precisely in the locality of Chiang Rai in the north of the country. It will host the event from 8-10 October 2020. The town has been a tourist destination for years thanks to numerous attractions, such as places of Buddhist worship where the White Temple of Wat Rong Khun stands out.
In 2020, the HERO World Series circuit will start in the foothills of the Dolomites, where it all started ten years ago. The date set for the 2020 edition is Saturday 20 June 2020, when the 11th edition of the HERO Südtirol Dolomites will take place.
“All the races of the HERO World Series circuit will have the same organisational format as the event that takes place in the Dolomites,” stressed Gerhard Vanzi. “From the exhibition with the companies of reference in the sector to the Kids event for the little heroes of tomorrow, naturally passing through the consolidated proposal of events, entertainment and evenings of great fun and appeal.”
Registrations for the 2020 HERO World Series will open during the celebrations of this year’s 10th HERO birthday in the Dolomites. To promote the new-born circuit, the organisers are offering free registration to the first 10 bikers who confirm their participation.
The date for entries to open is set for 17 June at 12:00 CET. The promotional price is €290 (representing a saving of €60) for participation in the three races of the HERO World Series. The promotional price is valid until 30 June.
For bikers who want to take up all three events in the 2020 series, the organisers of BMW HERO Südtirol Dolomites are working to organise travel: from air transport (including shipping of mountain bikes) to the accommodation and necessary transfers.
“Registration for the HERO races will not only be the ‘simple’ conquest of a medal,” concluded Gerhard Vanzi. “But also, and above all, the opportunity for a holiday with family or friends. New races mean new lands to discover, new horizons to open up.”