DarkCross Photo Contest Entry. © Stephen Gaunt

One of the DarkCross Photo Contest entries from earlier this season. © Stephen Gaunt

Winnipeg, Manitoba’s capital city, has been selected to host the 2014 Cyclo-cross Canadian Championships, it was announced today by Cycling Canada, thanks to efforts from the organizers of the DarkCross series. This year, Nationals will be held at the end of the month in Surrey, British Columbia.

“We are thrilled to host the Cyclo-cross Canadian Championships in the heart of the prairies, in the beautiful city of Winnipeg. This event will be a great platform for the development of cycling in Manitoba, said Mathieu Boucher, Performance Development Director at Cycling Canada. “Given the quality of the bid, we know the project is led by passionate and dynamic people. We are certain that the people of Manitoba will welcome with open hearts our cyclo-cross riders in Canada for what promises to be a great event at an ideal location.”

The event will take place at The Forks, Winnipeg. Located in the heart of downtown in an historic setting at the intersection of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, The Forks is one of Winnipeg’s most popular public gathering spaces. Featuring an eclectic and culturally diverse marketplace, a wide variety of restaurants and entertainment opportunities, and an on-site hotel, it will offers a comprehensive range of amenities for both participants and spectators.

“The cyclo-cross Provincial Championships were a huge success this past weekend. The event took place at The Forks as a test event to the 2014/2015 Canadian Championships. The event attracted many spectators and media representatives. We have received great feedback on the course, from the riders themselves,” said Twila Pitcher, Executive Director at Cycling Manitoba. “The organizing committee will be tweaking the details of the final course – but the weekend was an excellent first run. Winnipeg is very excited to host this premier event.”

The organizing committee will be co-chaired by Ian Hall and Chris Huebner. Added Pitcher: “Our organizing team is ready to deliver an outstanding event weekend. In preparation for submitting a bid, an experienced and energetic Executive Committee has been assembled. This team has more than 10 years of event organizing experience and is responsible for cultivating one of the country’s more vibrant local cyclocross scenes.”

The final dates remain to be confirmed, however the event is slated for November 1st and 2nd, which will change race season for Elite Canadian racers vying for positions on the Worlds team: For the MTBers, it will force some to make the decision to cut the season short even earlier to be prepared.

Winnipeg will also be host to the 2017 Canada Summer Games.