CrossVegas, for many, not only opens the World Cup calendar, but also the North American cyclocross season. And in a move that marks both the 10th anniversary of CrossVegas, as well as the race’s second year as a World Cup event, Brook Watts and Watts marketing have announced changes to the iconic grass course.

Vantornout led the charge halfway through the race, impacting the pace at the World Cup in CrossVegas. © Cyclocross Magazine

Vantornout led the charge halfway through the race, impacting the pace at the World Cup in CrossVegas. © Cyclocross Magazine

This year, spectators and racers are blessed to have options to watch and race a UCI World Cup cyclocross race, with the three-day Iowa City’s Jingle Cross added to the World Cup schedule, and Watts has updated the course with the goal of making it more spectator friendly by keeping almost the entire race down in the bowl.

You can read about the course changes in the press release, below.

ClifBar CrossVegas Announces Exciting Course Changes to Mark 10th Edition

Longmont, COLORADO–What better way to ring in a decade of memorable racing than to shake things up a bit?  To mark the tenth edition of the biggest ‘cross race outside of Europe, organizers of Clif Bar CrossVegas announced big changes to the venerable race course at Desert Breeze Soccer Complex in Las Vegas.

Photo courtesy Watts Marketing

Illustration courtesy

The thick grass that every CrossVegas racer already knows too well hasn’t been eliminated, and the tough uphill sections have not been removed.  Instead, the racing action has been moved almost exclusively into “The Bowl,” the iconic depression that defines the venue. Only the start and finish sections bring racers out of the bowl ensuring even more concentrated action for spectators attending the first race of the Telenet UCI World Cup Cyclocross series on Wednesday, September 21.

Race director Brook Watts described the course changes as “A natural evolution of CrossVegas.  We’ve taken a world class challenging course and made it even more difficult while enhancing the spectator-friendly aspects that fans have come to love.  It’s a Three Ring Circus and a classic study in pain.”

Traditional CrossVegas course features like the Raleigh Ramp remain. This wooden ramp has become famous for its high speed.  The Shimano Flyover has found a new showcase location in the bowl and is joined by the new trademark green KASK Helmet Flyover.  Additionally, the CrossVegas sandpit has a new incline location is, best described by Watts as “literally a sand dune that will probably earn me very few friends.”

Racers in the USA Cycling and Wheelers & Dealers races will be pleased to learn that a short cut has been created to spare them the toughest section of downhill and uphill racing.  That decisive section will be faced by Elite Women and Men in the World Cup races later in the evening.

The course direction is largely reversed from previous years.  After all the action in The Bowl, the racers face the Focus Bikes Stairs, just before the final sprint to the finish line.

The new course design enhances the spectator and VIP experience with an expanded expo area, a greater food selection and new strategically placed beer tents.

In 2015 racers from 21 nations competed in the first World Cup held outside of Europe.  The Women’s Elite was won by Katerina Nash of the Czech Republic and the Men’s Elite was won by Wout Van Aert of Belgium.  Both Nash and Van Aert are expected to compete in 2016.

Complete information about CrossVegas, including the course map, may be found at