It’s no surprise that the traditions of cyclocross are growing well beyond the borders of Europe. With China’s UCI C1 race two weeks ago, and American cyclocross races getting a possible nod for a future World Cup, we asked the Europeans who stood atop the podium at CrossVegas their thoughts on the growth of the sport.
Cyclocross Magazine: Do you think [CLIF Bar CrossVegas] should be a world cup next year?
Sven Nys: Yeah, it should be good for cycling overall that it’s a World Cup. We need to have some promotion for the sport also over here so that a lot of guys will come to race over here from Europe. It’s a big race…I’m happy I was here again, but maybe the next step is to have a World Cup.
CXM: There was a big race in China, a C1 two weekends ago. There’s talk of that becoming a World Cup, do you support that kind of expansion?
SN: Definitely. We need to grow, we are a small sport, and it develops every year, you see that a lot of American guys come to Europe to do the big races. Geoff Proctor is doing a great job over there with USA Cycling. So there are big steps they [the Chinese] need to make, to learn a lot, and then come over here to do some nice races also, and then maybe to have some World Cups in China. That maybe is the next step to be an Olympic sport.
CXM: You’re undefeated here in the States, do you like racing in the States?
SN: I never lost a race over here! I definitely want to come back, it’s a special feeling to race over here, the sport is growing a lot, you feel a lot of motivation over here, I’ve won a lot of races, but this is special.
CXM: Do you feel the fans cheer for you as loudly as an American?
SN: Yeah, I feel it. Because yeah, they see a lot races on the internet. They know I’ve won a lot of races, I won the World Championships in Louisville, they know me, and that helps.
CXM: Anything change with your bike, and how did it work out?
SN: The bike is the same as the end of last year, it’s so good that nothing needs to change. Just different colors because I’m the national champ.
Cyclocross Magazine: As the winner of the world cup, do you think CrossVegas should be a world cup?
Lars van der Haar: Yeah, maybe, it’s a big, big cross, maybe if they make it into a good date, with one other race, so we can train here a little bit and go back, it could be possible, but they can’t do it in November or December, and have us go to the States, that’s impossible.
CXM: Do you think that kind of expansion is good for the sport?
LvdH: I think the crowd likes it. I think if they did it as a world cup they could do more with advertisement, more with everything, I think there’s a chance, but it’s difficult.
CXM: How about expanding the world cup to places like China, where there was a C1 race this year?
LvdH: “Everything is possible, but yeah you have to be….the race goes where the money is. Right now the money is in Belgium, but guys prefer to race in China because they get paid really well there. Guys would not go quickly for expensive trip somewhere else to race, so I think that’s the problem momentarily.”
“I think [a World Cup in China] can happen, but if you’re going to have one in the States, one in China, and the rest in Europe, you have to time them.”