The six must-see bike events of 2015

Our essential guide to 2015’s most important two-wheeled events.
By Ric McLaughlin

2015 is already shaping up to be one of the best years yet for two-wheeled, pedal-powered action and we don't want you to miss a single moment of it, so here's our essential guide to the biggest bike events of the year for your diary.

UCI DH WORLD CUP RD1

WHY: After what feels like an age of waiting, the UCI DH World Cup finally roars back into life. It does so with the added spice on an all-new track in Lourdes, France, an area perhaps better known for being the most visited pilgrimage shrine in the Christian world. For one weekend though it becomes the site of DH pilgrimage, and will kick-off the World Cup in style.

WHERE: Lourdes, France
WHEN: April 11/12
LOOK OUT FOR: Following some bad luck and near misses in 2014 local ripper Loic Bruni will be looking to prove himself on his hometown course.

SIMPLE SESSION

WHY: Europe's biggest and loudest BMX Park and Street contest has grown from just a local comp into the monster we know today. This year is special however as it moves to a bigger home in the Tondiraba Arena in Tallinn, and promises an even wilder course and crowd than usual.

WHERE:
Tallinn, Estonia
WHEN: April 18/19
LOOK OUT FOR: The natural, flamboyant style of Drew Bezanson sits well with the Nate Wessel-designed Simple Session course. Will Bezanson be able to destroy the skatepark again at the contest's new location to claim a fifth Simple Session title?

LOOSEFEST

WHY: Last year's inaugural FEST Series saw what is possible on freeride bikes surpass what anyone thought was achievable. Nico Vink's Loose Fest in Belgium produced the biggest jumps and the highest speeds in 2014, and you can bet he'll be stepping things up once again in 2015.

WHERE:
Malmédy, Belgium
WHEN: July 28–August 3
LOOK OUT FOR: Some of the biggest air-time ever clocked on a mountain bike, courtesy of Nico, Andreu Lacondeguy and friends.

RED BULL JOYRIDE

WHY: Whistler Bike Park's Boneyard, the home of Red Bull Joyride, takes no prisoners. This is the one that every freeride mountain biker in the world wants to win. An event that really inspired the whole slopestyle movement, it is the jewel in the crown of the FMB World Tour and has the ability to turn unknowns into legends.

WHERE: Crankworx Whistler, Canada
WHEN: August 16
LOOK OUT FOR: Brandon Semenuk is the undoubted king of Joyride with three titles already to his name. He's the clear favourite to add a fourth win and a third consecutive title come August.

RED BULL HARDLINE

WHY: Dan Atherton's demon downhill brain child returns to the brutal Welsh hillside to once again challenge an invite-only roster of the world's fastest DH racers to compete on a track as physically and technically demanding as possible. Last year's event was one of the most talked about of the year – can the Hardline team produce something even scarier for 2015?!

WHERE:
Dyfi, Wales
WHEN: TBC
LOOK OUT FOR: A massive road gap drop was the feature that drew gasps of fear and excitement from the riders in 2014. Don't expect it to be any easier one year on if Dan Atherton has anything to say about it.

RED BULL RAMPAGE

WHY: The scorching temperatures and arid humidity of the desert are no match for arguably the most incredible mountain bike extravaganza on the calendar. Rampage tests riders like no other, challenging them to build their own lines before dropping, tricking and charging to the finish line hundreds of feet below.

WHERE:
Virgin, Utah, United States
WHEN: TBC
LOOK OUT FOR: Andreu Lacondeguy sending drops that would make mere mortals weak at the knees.

Don't forget that you can keep up with all things bike over on the Red Bull Bike Facebook page.