LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY — Masters cyclists from across the world will put their wheels to the line in Louisville, Kentucky, on Thursday morning to kick off the 2012 UCI Masters Cyclocross World Championships. Marking the first time a cyclocross world championship event has been held outside Europe, Masters Cyclocross Worlds will span four days, January 12 through 15. 500 masters-aged men and women from 11 countries and the United States are expected to participate.

Racing begins on Thursday, January 12, with preliminary heats. World championship title races will begin on Friday afternoon and continue through the weekend. Medal ceremonies will be held on Saturday night outside at Fourth Street Live!

The venue for the event, Eva Bandman Park, features one of the first permanent cyclocross facilities in a major US city. The course sits next to the Ohio River and challenges competitors with a variety of terrain, including sand pits, run-ups, flyovers and off-camber technical sections.

Producing the event in partnership with the Louisville Sports Commission are Bruce Fina and Joan Hanscom, race directors of the popular US Gran Prix of Cyclocross (USGP) series. Louisville, known for its vibrant cycling community, has hosted a stop on the USGP since 2007, as well as multiple USA Cycling Masters National Road Championships. The UCI Masters Cyclocross World Championships will return to Louisville in January, 2013, followed by the UCI Elite Cyclocross World Championships on February 2-3, 2013.

Admission to the races is free to the public with a $3 parking charge. For more information, visit www.louisville2013.com. You can also follow the event on Twitter at @Louisville2013 or by searching the hash tag #cxmasters2012.