Christian Helmig grabs the money at CrossVegas 2012. ©Thomas van Bracht / Cyclocross Magazine

Will Pawnee bring the same crowd that Vegas did? ©Thomas van Bracht / Cyclocross Magazine

PAWNEE, INDIANA — In a move that surprised many cyclocross fans, the season-opening CrossVegas cyclocross race announced it would relocate the popular race to Pawnee, Indiana beginning with the 2013 edition, scheduled Wednesday, September 18th.

At a press conference held April 1st in Pawnee City Council Chambers, Ron Swanson, Director of Pawnee Parks and Recreation was joined by CrossVegas Race Director Brook Watts and Deputy Parks Director Leslie Knope to announce the move.

“We’re pleased to have CrossVegas as the centerpiece of our Pawnee Harvest Festival.” Swanson announced.  Swanson added, “Cyclocross has the potential to transform the youth of Pawnee.”

Watts described the move from Las Vegas to Pawnee as “a natural progression for CrossVegas. Las Vegas is simply not equipped to handle large-scale international events like Pawnee can. The Parks and Recreation staff has a proven track record of success.”

Pawnee’s biggest civic booster, Deputy Director Leslie Knope, admitted she was the catalyst for the move by contacting CrossVegas organization and actively recruiting them. “Pawnee runs in my veins. I was born here. I grew up here. I was educated here. I made friends here. I fell off my bike here and scraped my knee here. I ate my first waffle here – and will eat my last one here, too. I fell in love here. I work here. I live here. 24 hours a day, I live for Pawnee,” Knope explained.

About Pawnee, IndianaPawnee is not a tourist Mecca, but this fact has made it a somewhat desirable location for those looking to get away from the crowds. Whether it’s taking in a community theater play in the park, guided tours of old Wamapoke hunting and burial grounds, or just shopping in a chain store on Main Street, there’s always at least one thing to do on the weekends. The city has several hotels.

[Ed. note: This was one of a handful of stories posted on April 1 for a little April Fools’ fun.]