Sven Nys leads Niels Albert through the sand at the GP Hasselt 2013 race. © Bart Hazen / Cyclocross Magazine
Earlier this week, Sven Nys asked on Twitter—in three languages—what could be done to internationalize cyclocross, which sparked a flood of replies, many of which he then retweeted. While people weren’t sure why exactly he was asking, it became clear as European news sources revealed that Nys had been meeting with the new head of the UCI Cyclocross Commission, Mike Plant. [Make sure you check out the upcoming Issue 23 for an in-depth interview with Plant.]
Belgian news source Nieuwsblad asked, “Will we soon a round of the Superprestige and Bpost Bank Trophy [and a World Cup] in the US?” It seems that Christophe Roodhooft of BKCP created a proposal to that effect, and Sven Nys laid it on the table last weekend at the meeting.
“We are not reluctant to the United States,” Christophe Impens, an organizer for Bpost Bank Trophy and some Superprestige races told Niewusblad. “But on two conditions: that it is a package of about ten days—for logistical reasons, preferably in late September—and it’s not at the expense of an existing SP or BAT race. It is therefore a ninth contest. For 2014, it is in any case too early, because there must also be made with television.”
His statement about late September would tie in neatly with Cross Vegas and the Trek Cyclocross Cup [Nys's new team]. And with the Providence Cyclocross Festival pushing for World Cup status, perhaps a compromise within the two weeks of Cross Vegas, Trek Cyclocross Cup, the Grand Prix of Gloucester and the Providence Cyclocross Festival can be reached.
Sporza confirmed this suggestion, and mentioned that the proposal was actually to create a three-race series in the US: Bpost Bank Trophy, Superprestige… and World Cup.
The UCI’s Peter van Abdele is also unopposed, and was quoted by Sporza as saying, “There are many opportunities in the US.” He has been previously opposed to making these changes, but added, “New bosses bring new laws. I have a good feeling about our conversation. With the organizers by my side, I’m already stronger. I still have over a month to do my job, because the new calendar to be presented on the eve of the World Cup.”
UCI President Brian Cookson also made remarks about cyclocross in the Olympics, at the Belgian Cycling Federation RLVB Ghent, and was cited by Belgian news outlet Nieuwsblad as saying, “I’m a fan of cyclocross. Beer, fries and mayonnaise. And Sven is an incredible athlete. Cyclo-Cross as a discipline at the Winter Games is currently impossible because it is not practiced on snow or ice, but perhaps revise the IOC rule ever. It’s currently missing something.”
We’re excited to see these conversations happening, and will be keeping you updated as schedules for next year—and the World Cups—are finalized. What do you think? Would you like to see a World Cup in the US?