Louisville's proposed 2013 Cyclocross World Championship Course preview?

Louisville's proposed 2013 Cyclocross World Championship Course

by Dan Seaton

Tábor, Czech Republic – The UCI Management Committee confirmed this afternoon that the 2013 Cyclocross World Championships and 2012/13 Cyclocross Masters World Championships would be held in Louisville, Kentucky in the United States.  As Cyclocross Magazine previously reported, the possibility has been brewing for a while, and received the support of ‘cross superstar Sven Nys and a host of other racers. Katie Compton told Cyclocross Magazine that she’s particularly excited that the Europeans will finally have to travel and deal with jet lag.

The course will be held at Eva Bandman Park near downtown Louisville, Kentucky, the future site of the permanent cyclocross course that the city has started building in attempt to draw high-profile international cyclocross events. With the USGP cyclocross series, Masters Cyclocross World Championships, and now the 2013 UCI Cyclocross World Championships all lined up, we’d say the city has already been successful in drawing such events and has realized the positive economic impact cyclocross racing can have on a community.

As we reported even before the official news broke, Americans and Europeans are eagerly awaiting this ground-breaking move across the Atlantic.

Sven Nys, Belgian Champion and the sport’s biggest star, made waves when he threw his support behind the idea in comments that appeared in Belgian newspaper Gazette Van Antwerpen. America’s National Champion, Katie Compton also supports the idea. “I’m super excited,” she said. “Finally ‘cross is making its way from Europe to the U.S., and I couldn’t be happier. It’s relatively close and I think Louisville’s going to have a really good experience putting on a high-end race. I think they’ll do a really great job with it.” Compton also echoed a sentiment we heard from a number of riders as well, telling us, “Finally the Europeans get to know what jet lag is like!”

Among the men, Jeremy Powers probably has more experience on the world stage than any other active American other than Jonathan Page. Powers said that an American World Championships would be a game changer.

“It would be a big deal for us, it would be huge,” he told us. “We would be able to finally have something to look forward to in February. And it would be really motivating, thinking about racing at home in February, I think we’d have a really good shot at doing very well.”

Powers, who told Cyclocross Magazine in a previous interview that he would consider racing cyclocross full time if he could afford to, reiterated the sentiment. “It would definitely slow down my road racing and I would definitely be focused on being really good in February,” he said.

This is a developing story, so stay with Cyclocross Magazine for additional details soon. Preview the venue of the 2013 Cyclocross World Championships in a video here. Press release below:

UCI awards 2012 and 2013 Elite Cyclo-cross World Championship events to Louisville, Ky.

First Cyclo-cross World Championships to be held outside of Europe

January 29, 2010 (Tabor, Czech Republic) – USA Cycling is honored to announce that Louisville, Kentucky today was chosen by the Union Cycliste Internationale, cycling’s international governing body, to host the 2013 Elite Cyclo-cross World Championships and the 2012 and 2013 Masters Cyclo-cross World Championships.

This historic appointment is the first time the Cyclo-cross World Championships will be held outside of Europe in the 50 plus year history of the championships. These events will mark the first Elite Cycling World Championship of any discipline held on U.S. soil since the Track World Championships took place in Los Angeles in 2005.

“After more than a decade of working closely with American promoters and the UCI to grow our international calendar of cyclo-cross events, Louisville’s winning bid is a testament to the success of those efforts and to the extraordinary quality of ‘cross racing in the U.S.,” USA Cycling CEO Steve Johnson said.

US Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross (USGP) promoters, Bruce Fina and Joan Hanscom, will produce the races in partnership with the Louisville Sports Commission and USA Cycling.

“This is thrilling news,” said Fina. “We have worked for six years with the USA Cycling National Team and six years on the USGP to further develop the sport in the U.S. to the point where our riders can be competitive on the global stage. Hosting the Worlds in the U.S. is the next logical step. We hope to see a continued increase in the number of professional cross racers in the states and hope this venue will enhance that goal. ”

Louisville has hosted a stop on the USGP since 2007, as well as multiple USA Cycling Masters National Road Championships demonstrating a vibrant cycling community and tremendous local support of the championships.

“I was impressed with the vision and detail of the plans to develop the area into a cyclo-cross race venue,” said UCI technical delegate Simon Burney. “The area, terrain and surroundings lend themselves perfectly to a major race venue, and with the city of Louisville firmly behind the project the opportunity for world class events certainly looks exciting.”