Niels Albert won his fourth consecutive Superprestige Diegem today © Bart Hazen

Here, Niels Albert won his fourth consecutive Superprestige Diegem. © Bart Hazen

CINCINNATI, OHIO – At first glance, the registered riders list seems more like a promoter’s wishlist than a reality, but it’s really happening. Next weekend, Niels Albert, Radomir Simunek, Joachim Parbo, Ryan Trebon, Tim Johnson, Jonathan Page and Wietse Bosmans will be racing in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, at Cincinnati Kings International Cyclocross. With only 16 racers registered in the elite men’s category so far, the field threatens to be small, but make no mistake: the racing will be fierce as the Euros test their skills against the American Worlds team on their home turf, just a week before the World Championships in Louisville. On the women’s side, the race offers an equal prize purse, which is sure to tempt many on-the-fence racers. Almost all of the American Worlds team is represented, and includes Amy Dombroski, Georgia Gould, and Meredith Miller. Czech champion Katerina Nash and British racer Helen Wyman will also be on the starting line.

UPDATED: Additionally, Jamey Driscoll is confirmed to race, as are two more from the top ten at Hoogerheide this past weekend: Simon Zahner (third) and Julien Taramarcaz (ninth).

From promoter Corey Green:

Kings CX could not be more excited to be hosting this warm-up race to prepare everyone for Worlds. To bring the best the US has to offer and add in riders like Albert and Simunek is a dream that the collective community never thought possible just five years ago when Kings CX started. Before UCI level CX races hit Kingswood Park in Deerfield Township, Ohio, it was just five guys riding rogue in a vacant golf course wondering if one day they could put on a race at the venue. Bringing this level of talent to race in our little local park is a reflection of the community putting their collective efforts into CX and the venue.

The main features of the park are a double-topped hill known as “the Camel” and a run up known as the “Heckle Zone.” The Camel was used in the November UCI race with a steep descent and  steep uphill that brought the racers to a near complete stop because of the rain and mud. By the end of the race, it was hard enough to walk up, let alone ride up. Trebon’s large winning gap on the field came as a result of being one of the only racers to be able to ride up the camel. The Heckle Zone is a convenient spot for spectators to camp out with a tent and see the racers in a bit slower motion, giving a longer opportunity to provide them with “advice” on how to race at Kings. The run up is rideable by some of our more advanced juniors, but no one has ridden it effectively in a race situation yet.

Kings CX is also the permanent home to the Lionhearts Junior Racing team, a juniors only team that is 53 strong and has junior racers as young as eight years old up to fifteen. The team took fifteen juniors to Nationals in Madison, claiming a podium spot with Spencer Petrov in the 15-16 junior boys and building a world of experience in the other racers. The Lionhearts will be at the event on the 26th running a chili and waffles stand, as well as selling coffee and hot chocolate, to keep everyone fed and to help raise the funds needed to continue the effort of developing the next wave of juniors. Food trucks in the form of Taco Azul and Cafe de Wheels will also be on site selling food and refreshments.

“As a team Mitch Graham and I couldn’t be more excited to bring Albert, Simunek, and Bosmans to Cincinnati. It is a rare opportunity to witness our US Elite up against European elites in a non-Worlds environment. It is also a rare opportunity to race as an amateur on the same course, on the same day as the reigning World Champion. We may be the first opportunity in the US to say that.”

Stay tuned, as the promoters have hinted that there may be a few more surprises in store.

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