The biggest news of the cyclocross offseason in the U.S. is the creation of the new seven-race USCup-CX series by Scott Tedro and Ryan Trebon. In an interview with Tedro, we drew the obvious comparison with the former USGP of Cyclocross, which interestingly, Tedro was not familiar with.
While going back through the Cyclocross Magazine archives, I came across a series we did in June and July of 2013, shortly after the USGP went defunct, featuring interviews with the promoters of the four USGP races – Sun Prairie, WI, Ft. Collins, CO, Louisville, KY and Bend, OR – and speculation about what the future of those races might hold. Looking back on that story, two of the race prognostications stood out.
Read on, and I think you will see why.
The Ones that Did Not Make It
Despite post-USGP optimism, two of the former USGP races did not survive long without the USGP umbrella. The Fort Collins New Belgium Cup did not make it to 2013, with the event getting canceled shortly before the start of the 2013-2014 season, and the Bend race suffered a similar fate, albeit a year later in 2014.
Although it was a bummer to lose these races, it did show the challenge of the USGP approach. With the USGP organization essentially running the races, the events were left in the lurch when the funding and direction from the series went away.
One reason we are optimistic about the USCup-CX’s approach is Tedro and Trebon are allowing the race organizers to continue running their races as they always have while providing minimal requirements to be part of the series. The four races that are part of the USCup-CX series were chosen because they are established events, and they are likely to continue their success into the future, whether with or without the series.
Louisville, The One We Got Right
Back in 2013, we wrote:
With a permanent cyclocross venue that only months ago hosted the World Championships, it makes sense that the Derby City Cup would continue, and that it would be coming back better and stronger than ever.
The Derby City Cup has been back at Eva Bandman Park each year, and it has been stronger than ever. This year, Louisville will not only be hosting the Pan-American Championships on Sunday, November 5, but it will also be the only former USGP race to be part of the new USCup-CX series. The race on Saturday, November 4 will be a part of Tedro and Trebon’s new USCup-CX series.
Point for Cyclocross Magazine for being spot on about Derby City’s bright future.
Wisconsin, The One that Shocked the World (Or Just Us)
The Sun Prairie USGP was held at Angell Park in the event’s namesake suburb of Madison. After the USGP folded, a certain bike company 11 miles down the road in Waterloo offered to host the race as a UCI event. Here is what we said about the future of Wisconsin’s UCI race in 2013:
The first of the races is also the one that is perhaps the hardest to maintain as a C1. Set the weekend after CrossVegas, it’s a difficult race for many of the pros to get to, especially now that the finale for the USA Crit series will also be the week of Interbike out in Las Vegas. This is also one of the few UCI races in the Midwest, which puts the race in a unique position, especially since, after two years right outside of Madison, Wisconsin, Nationals will be moving on to another locale for 2014.
It is true that the Waterloo event is not part of the new USCup-CX series, but it is part of a little series called the UCI World Cup that you may have heard of once or twice.
Perhaps it is a testament to promoter Renee Callaway and Trek that they shocked the world (or at least Cyclocross Magazine) by not only maintaining the Trek CXC Cup’s C1 status but also by building the event to host Wout Van Aert and the Telenet Fidea Lions team in 2016 and become just the third U.S. race to be awarded a UCI World Cup.
It also shows the U.S. cyclocross landscape can change quickly. This September the Midwest will be the center of the cyclocross world, with Jingle Cross in Iowa City and World Cup Waterloo on back-to-back weekends, and again in late October/early November with Cincinnati and Louisville participating in the USCup-CX. Predicting the future can be a fool’s errand, so who knows where the center of the U.S. cyclocross world will be four years from now.
And speaking of crystal balls, if you are in Wisconsin for World Cup Waterloo this September, you may want to look to former promoter Madam Renee Callaway for her fortune-telling skills:
CXM: Do you think another national series will come into being in future years? What is the importance of having a national series?
RC: I think that another national series will come along eventually and I think a well-run, professional series does offer something to pros while capturing the interest of race fans.
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