SNOWSHOE, W. Va. (WFXR) — The world’s best mountain bike racers return to Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia for what’s become an annual stop on the UCI World Cup tour. But this year, the athletes are competing a little earlier than in previous years.

It’s the third time in the last four years that Snowshoe is hosting mountain bike World Cup racing.

But instead of being the final stop on the tour as it was in 2019 and 2021, racers are visiting West Virginia in the middle of the season. This weekend serves as one of the final tune-ups before the world championships take place in France next month.

“It’s pretty amazing a lot of these folks competed in Olympics, will compete in future Olympics so we’re watching Olympians out here,” Snowshoe spokesperson Shawn Cassell said.

For organizers, having the event at the end of July instead of the beginning of September is good news as they hope to attract fans that would normally be busy watching football.

“To know that we have a World Cup here in West Virginia just really says hey they’ve got World class mountain biking trails so it just peaks a lot of folks interest,” Cassell said. “Mountain bikers love to travel, always checking out new places. And if they haven’t been to West Virginia, this type of event puts us on the map and really shows off the world class riding that we have here.”

Racers will compete in short track, cross country and downhill with competition set for Friday thru Sunday.