Road Trip! For the first time ever, the Cyclocross World Championships will be held in the United States in 2013 thanks to the efforts of U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross!
To be held in Louisville, KY, the USGPoC will get a trial run in 2012 as they host the masters ‘cross worlds, then a final shakedown for the masters event again in 2013 a few days before the worlds!
“After more than a decade of working closely with American promoters and the UCI to grow our international calendar of cyclo-cross events, Louisville’s winning bid is a testament to the success of those efforts and to the extraordinary quality of ‘cross racing in the U.S.,” USA Cycling CEO Steve Johnson said.
US Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross (USGP) promoters, Bruce Fina and Joan Hanscom, will produce the races in partnership with the Louisville Sports Commission and USA Cycling.
“This is thrilling news,” said Fina. “We have worked for six years with the USA Cycling National Team and six years on the USGP to further develop the sport in the U.S. to the point where our riders can be competitive on the global stage. Hosting the Worlds in the U.S. is the next logical step. We hope to see a continued increase in the number of professional cross racers in the states and hope this venue will enhance that goal.”
Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com rider Jeremy Powers agrees, stating “The world champs are an event that everyone will compete in. Bart Wellens can’t say,’Oh, I’m not going to go.’ It’s going to pave the way for a lot of younger riders and going to give our country the depth and respect it deserves in ’cross. It’s also going to aid in the development of young riders and inspire them to want to race ’cross seriously and overall create something really special that I’m excited to be able to be part of. I’m looking forward to this with a lot of excitement.”
Louisville has hosted a stop on the USGP since 2007, as well as multiple USA Cycling Masters National Road Championships demonstrating a vibrant cycling community and tremendous local support of the championships.
“I was impressed with the vision and detail of the plans to develop the area into a cyclo-cross race venue,” said UCI technical delegate Simon Burney. “The area, terrain and surroundings lend themselves perfectly to a major race venue, and with the city of Louisville firmly behind the project the opportunity for world class events certainly looks exciting.”
Under the leadership of Mayor Jerry Abramson, Louisville is building America’s first permanent, major-city cyclocross facility at Eva Bandman Park, near downtown. Working with local cyclo-cross enthusiasts, Louisville Metro Government is developing a venue that can support local races and youth riding programs, while also hosting national and international races. The course at Eva Bandman also will serve as the home to the USGP and as a year round cycling park.
“I’m so proud that Louisville is the first city outside Europe to be awarded the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships,” said Mayor Jerry Abramson. “We’re turning Louisville into one of our nation’s most bike-friendly cities by investing in bicycle infrastructure, listening to the needs of local cyclists, and hosting events that draw more attention to cycling. Our local cyclo-cross teams are among the nation’s best, and we’re developing a venue that will help them keep their competitive edge.”
Until then, the World Cyclocross Championships will be held in Sankt Wendel, Germany in 2011 and in Koksijde, Belgium in 2012,