Kaitlin Antonneau had a strong early race, but a crash dropped her out of contention. She’ll be back with a vengeance next weekend. © Focal Flame Photography
With the UCI World Cyclo-cross Championships coming to the United States for the first time, many of the top stars of the sport have one final stop on their road to Louisville – The Cincinnati Kings International (C2) race on Saturday, January 26th 90 minutes up the road.
US riders Jeremy Powers, Ryan Trebon, and newly-crowned U.S. National Champion Jonathan Page will headline the men’s race. Georgia Gould (LUNA), Amy Dombroski (Telenet-Fidea), Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld) and Meredith Miller (Cal-Giant) are confirmed for the women’s elite race.
With National Cyclocross Championships occurring in many countries last weekend, and Worlds teams being named, a growing number of European participants are joining the top Americans at – The Cincinnati Kings International . “We’re still looking at a lot of tentative riders at this point from Europe. Everyone that has their U.S. travel logistics worked out favorably is saying yes.” according to event technical director Mitch Graham. The women’s race will be loaded with World Cup power including Czech Katerina Nash (LUNA), Swiss National Champion Jasmine Achermann (Rapha-Focus), and European Continental Champion Helen Wyman (KONA).
Prize money is 100% matched, with $5000 going out to the women and the men. “Women’s racing is important in the United States, and very important in Cincinnati. We hope that the Europeans come away from the U.S. in a couple of weeks with a good sense of that.” says Graham.
Danish champions Kenneth Hansen and Joachim Parbo are now confirmed to the men’s race, along with members of the Canadian and Czech national teams. More starters will be announced in the week leading up to the event including some high-profile names.
For those not familiar to the Ohio Valley, Cincinnati and Louisville are two sister cities within the OVCX cyclocross region. With Louisville’s USGP stop and Cincinnati’s Cincy3 weekend – both cities are not only close but share national prominence. They both also feature two of the most successful junior cyclocross programs in the U.S., with the Lionhearts team in Cincy and RedZone Racing in Louisville.
Kings International race director Corey Green knows the Kingswood Park (formerly Kingswood Golf Course) better than anyone. Within 4 short years, the venue has been built up from hosting a local race to being granted a UCI Category 1 event next year for the Cincy3 weekend (Nov 1-3). “Kingswood Park has been a community effort. Five years ago there were a small handful of us riding around on CX bikes and we all said it would be a great place to hold a race. None of us had any clue that four years later we would be hosting the final warm up for the World Championships. Success is a direct result of the community rallying around the venue and Deerfield Township being supportive, without the community none of this would be possible.” This past November, Kingswood hosted a Cross After Dark UCI night race won by Americans Ryan Trebon and Katie Compton.
A full schedule of events will be featured at Kings beginning at 8:30am for beginners, juniors, and masters racers. To add a touch of American cyclocross flair and fun to the day, a special BMI (Body Mass Index) race has been added in for the clydesdale racers, with staging being done by weight (heaviest riders line up at the front). Registration for the event is going on at BikeReg.com
Don’t miss our LIVE STREAMING VIDEO of the 2013 Cyclocross World Championships. And for all the latest news, results, photos and videos from the 2013 Cyclocross World Championships and Masters World Championships in Louisville, KY, keep checking our 2013 Cyclocross World Championships page.