Mercedes cars have been announced as the headline sponsor for the UCI Downhill World Cup series and World Champs until 2020.

The deal shouldn't affect the races at all but the brand will be offering their vehicles to help with course preparation and shuttling (we assume at courses without chairlifts such as Croatia). It's great to see big brands being drawn to downhill and hopefully the sport can continue to attract more money and media attention... even it does mean being bombarded with Mercedes branding.

Shuttles were allowed during practice so most of the riders got in two runs on each of the stages before Friday and took it a bit slower on the last day to get some rest before the race.
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This isn't the first time a car company has taken interest in the World Cups with Nissan sponsoring the series from 2007 to 2009.

New UCI president, CI President David Lappartient, said: "This partnership provides an excellent opportunity for us to accelerate the development of Mountain Bike, one of our flagship disciplines. Our events will benefit from the brand's global reputation and knowledge. That a manufacturer of the calibre of Mercedes-Benz has chosen to invest in cycling is evidence that our sport is attractive to major economic players, who select our events to launch their new products. We are delighted with the trust shown by Mercedes-Benz in our Federation, our discipline, and our major events."

Anyway, it's a nice bit of dough for the UCI and hopefully no change for us. It's got to be better than Rocky Road either way!