Due to potential flooding on Sunday, the Cyclocross World Championship schedule has been altered so that all elite races are moved to Saturday. New schedule for our live streaming video coverage of the 2013 World Championships is as follows:
- 9:45 AM – 17-18 Junior World Championships
- 11:00 AM – Female Elite World Championships
- 12:30 PM – U23 World Championships
- 2:30 PM – Male Elite World Championships
We spoke with Executive Race Director Micah Rice, who explained the situation in more detail. He said that from what they’ve been told, the area where the course is floods maybe once a year, and this isn’t something that could have been predicted. If it floods — and flooding is predicted to start at 1 AM on Sunday morning — the VIP area, parts of the course and the entire pit would be underwater. The course has seen flooding before, so race organizers know what could be in store for Sunday: not just puddles, but a course underwater.
“If it hadn’t been for the parks crew building a sandbag barrier starting yesterday, Saturday probably wouldn’t even be happening,” Rice said. The parks department is laying more sandbags today to make sure that the races happen tomorrow as planned, however, the one worry is the course tear-down. The plan is to start from the bottom up, working to get generators and TV equipment out before the flooding starts.
As for the elite riders caught unaware, rider reg at opened at 9 AM so information is there when team managers register teams. We were actually alerted to the story by the manager of the Swiss team, who called us to get the scoop on the story, and we immediately began to follow up to find out what was happening.
The Europeans are less than thrilled, since pre-riding the course only opened on Thursday and is rumored to be canceled for today, meaning racers will only have seen the course once, and some not at all. Riders like Geoff Kabush were delayed getting to Louisville because of flight delays and cancellations from weather and because of that, he hasn’t been on course yet. US rider Danny Summerhill comes to Louisville today, and most likely won’t have a chance to pre-ride, though Belgians are telling news sources in Belgium that, “This is an outrage!”
For spectators, Sunday’s tickets will be honored on Saturday. If you bought a ticket for only Sunday and can’t make it, tickets will be refunded, but Rice requests that you please hold your calls until next week since the USA Cycling crew has a lot on their plates as is.
Sporza.be checked in with the Belgian riders, and they had mixed reactions. Niels Albert told reporters, “They could’ve taken into account that this river can flood over and could have put the track on the other side of the road. Then we wouldn’t have a problem right now. Total amateurism.”
Klaas Vantornout was equally displeased, telling them, “They know for three years that the WC will be held here and that the river might flood. That river comes meters high every year. So it doesn’t seem very logical to hold the WC on that exact spot, but we got to take it as it comes. Whether it’s Sunday or Saturday, I’m ready. One day won’t make the difference.”
However, Sven Nys was more optimistic, tweeting, “Let the show begin!” He told Sporza, “Now I have a day less to get nervous. The only small disadvantage is that I trained quite fanatically on Thursday and was counting on that extra day of rest.”
Kevin Pauwels echoed Nys, saying, “I don’t really mind. Doesn’t matter much to me. We got to take it as it comes and make the best out of it.”
We chatted with the Canadian Elite Team about their thoughts on the schedule change.
However, while some riders may not be thrilled, the event is still going to happen and be the race of the year. “Riders will still get to ride on a great course,” Rice says. “It’s going to be a hell of a party tomorrow. Twice the party on Saturday. We have two days of beer for one day.”
From the official release:
Forecast data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) project that high water levels in the Ohio River will cause Beargrass Creek to flood the low lying areas of Eva Bandman Park in Louisville, Ky, in the early hours on Sunday morning and that water level will continue to rise for the next 48 hours.
Extraordinary measures, including the construction of a temporary barrier, are ongoing to ensure that the 2013 UCI Cyclocross World Championships races will still be held in their entirety. The Organizing Committee and the UCI together took the decision to revise the schedule. All four races will be held on Saturday February 2, starting with Men Juniors at 9:45 a.m., Elite Women at 11 a.m., Men Under-23 at 12:30 p.m., and Elite Men at 2:30 p.m. (All times are Eastern Standard.) All Sunday tickets will be honored at the gate on Saturday which will open at 8 a.m.
Stay tuned for more details!
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.