A Combined MTB and CX World Cup Series?
With short urban courses, double chainrings, carbon hoops and tubular tires now prominent in mountain biking, and barriers all but gone from top ‘cross races, the lines between the two sports are blurring. Sven Nys thinks this might be a good thing.
The World Cup winner believes cyclocross needs more of an international flavor, and mountain biking needs more attention. And so the dominant rider has a creative proposal to solve both challenges: combine the two in a new World Cup.
Nys suggested on his blog that the new World Cup should include nine mountain bike races, nine cyclocross races, and an overall combined prize to encourage more mountain bikers to race cyclocross and more ‘crossers to race mountain bikes. Each race would have live TV coverage, and start order would be determined by performance in past races of both disciplines.
Under Nys’ proposal, the world championships would still remain separate for each sport.
Nys also chimes in on the recent buzz on the “cyclocross in the Olympics” topic. He agrees there is a place for it, but his solution for including it is not to add it as a winter sport, but rather modify the mountain bike race to be more of a hybrid between ‘cross and mountain biking, with either type of bike allowed.
It’s nice to see the sport’s biggest star offer creative ideas to further grow the top level of the sport. While it’s certainly in his best interest to see cyclocross expand, his innovative suggestions for elite, international ‘cross may have some merit and weight. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way!” Nys concludes.
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Combining cyclocross and mountain biking would indeed increase publicity and interest in both sports. That's a good thing. Unfortunately, this combination would ultimately dilute the unique nature of cyclocross. I've always viewed cyclocross as a neutral ground where both MTB'ers and Roadies can come together in peaceful harmony. If the seasons were combined, the balance of power would be upset and the beautiful harmonious neutrality would be gone never to return.