Josh Johnson at OVCX Brookside. © Kent Baumgardt

Josh Johnson at OVCX Brookside. © Kent Baumgardt

When you discuss cyclocross in the US, the two major hubs that come to mind are New England and the Pacific Northwest. But if you look closely at the map, in the Ohio Valley region, the racing is growing by leaps and bounds.

For the 10th anniversary for the OVCX Series, the series organizers are proud to announce an exciting, expanded schedule for 2013. From number plates to chip timing, course flags to full-fencing, a handful of locals to World Champion stripes; it’s incredible how far cyclocross in the Ohio Valley has come in ten years. 2012 saw the largest grassroots participation bump in the history of the OVCX Series.  Women’s participation jumped up over 60% and juniors were up over 50%.  According to Series Coordinator Mitch Graham, “The last three years in the Ohio Valley has been a steady build-up of growth and excitement culminating with this past February’s World Championships in Louisville.  Moving forward, the Zipp OVCX Series will continue its focus on maximizing the growth of regional cyclocross through great courses, competitive fields, and good times.”  Of note this season: OVCX will see more prize money for women, expanded Masters categories, the return of Cincy3 (including CX After Dark) as well as the Derby City Cup UCI Weekend which fills the void left by USGP.

In 2012, the OVCX region (Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio) witnessed once-in-a-lifetime world cyclocross greatness right in its own backyard with a mind-blowing number of world-class events: Cincy3, USGP Derby City, Cincy Kings International, Masters World Championships and the UCI Elite World Championships.   The love for the sport of cyclocross in the Ohio Valley is unquestionable, and it lays down the foundation of support that is absolutely necessary to pull off such a large quantity of big events.

Bloomington, Indiana, won the draw to kick off the 2013 Zipp OVCX Series, with Brookside in Indianapolis returning as the series finale. In between are many traditional OVCX favorites: the Storm Eva Bandman Halloween race, Gun Club, John Bryan, and  the two big UCI weekends: Cincy3 and the Derby City events in Louisville.  Featuring over $60,000 in cash plus prizes over the series, this year the Zipp OVCX 2013 Series ups the women’s prize money to $700 minimum per event. 

Being the first event, Bloomington should see a large participation growth year. “Team Scholars Inn Bakehouse Cycling and the city of Bloomington, Indiana are delighted to have been chosen to host the 2013 season opener for the OVCX series,” according to Team Director Tom Saccone. “The Karst Farm Park with its course-side shelters, amenities, open and technical terrain, and proximity to the downtown area is an ideal location to get the OVCX party started.”

Midway through the Zipp OVCX 2013 Series calendar, The Cincy3 Cyclocross Festival makes its return November 2nd-4th with three days of UCI racing in Metro Cincinnati at Devou Park, Kings CX, and Harbin Park. The format remains unchanged from 2012 with Kings CX once again playing host to the CX After Dark Series featuring C1 racing under the lights for pro men and women.

Returning to the Zipp OVCX Series 2013 calendar is the Derby City Weekend.  Filling in the gap left by the departure of the USGP, Derby City is a two-day UCI weekend in Louisville. Being back in the fold of OVCX, riders should welcome the categories being back in line with OVCX events. Event coordinator Joe Czerwonka says, “The Derby City Cup is excited to once again be a part of the OVCX series for 2013. Combining the momentum Louisville has received from the World Championships with the exploding popularity of the OVCX, it’s a perfect match. We’re looking forward to bringing UCI racing back to Louisville and the OVCX this season.”

As always, this year’s Zipp OVCX Series encompasses the Ohio Valley cyclocross scenes of Indianapolis, Bloomington, Dayton, Lexington, Cincinnati, and Louisville (all League of American Bicyclists Bicycle-Friendly Communities).  The geographic layout of the series puts most venues within an easy two hour drive for most participants.

The 2013 series aims to be more work, family, and travel friendly. Aside from the Cincy3 and Derby City UCI weekends, participants will see only one race per weekend on the schedule. As in previous years, your best seven races count toward the series overall title making it easy to compete and have fun.

The Zipp OVCX Series is committed to being a vehicle in developing young talent and will again offer numerous categories for juniors aged 10 to 18, a U19 category, and a U23 category for elite races. On the other side of the age spectrum a 55+ category for men will be added this year. Chip timing will be again at each event to provide quick results and submission to USA Cycling for national ranking points. Full series rules and categories will be posted to OVCX.com by late-June. So get your gear and cowbells warmed up and ready – we’re in for a season to remember!  For details and more information, visit OVCX.com, like OVCX on Facebook and follow OhioValleyCX on Twitter.

2013 OVCX Series Calendar

  • Sept 15 BloomingCross-Bloomington, Indiana
  • Sept 28 St. Mary’s-Indianapolis, IN
  • Oct 6 Caesars Ford-Dayton, OH
  • Oct 13 Gun Club-Cincinnati, OH
  • Oct 20 John Bryan-Dayton, OH
  • Oct 27 Eva Bandman-Louisville, KY
  • Nov 2-4 Cincy3-UCI Weekend (Devou, Kings CX After Dark, Harbin-Cincinnati, OH)
  • Nov 9-10 Derby City-UCI Weekend-Louisville, KY
  • Nov 24 Major Taylor Velodrome-Indianapolis, IN
  • Dec 1 Promotion Cross-Lexington, KY
  • Dec 15 Brookside (Finale/Awards/Party)-Indianapolis, IN