Jan 23 update.
“We are very optimistic based on Peter and Sven’s comments that things are going to go our way but nothing is determined until next weekend at the Committee meeting.” said Joan Hanscom.
Bruce Fina and Hanscom are the brains behind the premiere cross series in North America, the US Gran Prix of Cyclocross.
Hanscom cleared up the speculation around a possible World Cup event in 2012.
“Bruce and I have submitted a bid – for the Worlds only. There’s a lot of speculation about World Cup and that is not correct. There is no bid in for a World Cup nor are there plans for one. ”
Even if the Worlds are not awarded to Louisville, cross fans will still have a world-level cross course in Louisville, which will be used for a USGP round.
“Louisville is developing a new venue – one that will be year round usable cycling Park but one designed with world championship cx potential. It will at the very least be the future home of the USGP. It’s closer into town – Evan Bandman Park and work is already underway. ”
It’s a waiting game for now.
“That’s really all there is to the story until the Committee decides next week. But very cool and exciting stuff. And if it happens we are going to need the support of the WHOLE of the cycling industry to pull it off, it’s a huge undertaking.”
Original Jan 22 story below.
Worlds to Louisville? sport.be reports that Louisville, KY is in the running to host the UCI Cyclocross World Championships in 2013. According to UCI cyclocross coordinator Peter Van den Abeele, the bid is in “pole position”. He also added that “The city has a watertight case. The final allocation takes place next week Thursday during a meeting in Tabor UCI calendar. ”
If it does happen, it would the first time that the even is held outside of Europe. The next World Championships will be held in St Wendel, Germany in 2011 and in Koksijde, Belgium in 2012.
In the same article, Belgium Sven Nys states that he is considering ending his career after the London Olympic Games in 2012 but might consider extending to say farewell in the US. Nys makes a good point that if the event is awarded to Louisville, then a World Cup race is usually held on the same venue the year prior.
Not the first time that there’s been talk of having a World Cup in the US. In 2007, Providence Rhode Island was awarded a World Cup but the event was canceled due to economic reasons as the organizers needed more time to create an event that provides a solid return on the investment being made by the sponsors. And don’t I remember something about Sven Nys chartering a plane to bring riders over?
While no Cross World Cup has been held in the US, some European riders have chosen to race in North America to hone their form at the beginning of the season. 3-time World Champion Erwin Vervecken has raced here for four years, starting in 2001, and this year participated in the season openers Star Crossed and Rad Racing in the Pacific Northwest followed by CrossVegas and the first USGP round in Madison. Joining him in Las Vegas were Ben Berden, Swiss Champion Christian Heule and Tim van Nuffel.
During the Madison weekend, where he won the Sunday race, Vervecken noted that “the level has certainly improved” since he first started making the trip eight years ago.
Would hosting the Worlds in the US also mean that the domestic cross season would be extended into January? Currently, the season ends in mid-December with the US National Championships while the races continue in Europe culminating with Worlds.
Permanent cross course. After the recent closing of the cyclocross course at River Road Country Club, used for the USGP races, the city of Louisville has embarked in created a permanent cross course at Eva Bandman park.
Back in December, the city released the above video on the progress at the park where Assistant Metro Parks Director Marty Storch highlights preliminary work that has already been done.
Speaking of World Cup. Only 14 points separate leader Zdenek Stybar and Niels Albert going into the final round of the World Cup in Hoogerheide, Netherlands. Can Albert overcome a rib injury sustained at the hands of “a fan” during the Belgian national Cross Championships?
On the American side, all the Elite Men selected for Worlds are showing up plus one. US National Cross Champion Tim Johnson will be showing off his Stars & Stripes for the first time in Europe. He will be wearing #54 with the other riders in consecutive order: Jonathan Page, Jamey Driscoll, Ryan Trebon and Jeremy Powers. Wearing #59 Troy Wells is also joining in the fun. Two Canadians, Mike Garrigan and Erik Box are lining up.
The battle is on between leader Daphny van den Brand and Marianne Vos in the Elit Women’s race with only twenty points dividing the two Dutch riders.
US Cross National Champion Katie Compton, fighting leg cramps that have hampered her all throughout her career, is sitting the race out hoping to recover in time for Tabor. Meredith Miller, Maureen Bruno-Roy, Amy Dombroski, all three part of the US Worlds team are racing with Christine Vardaros also suiting up.
In the U23 event, four of the five US Worlds team member will be present: National Champion Danny Summerhill, Zach McDonald, Luke Keough and Jerome Townsend. National Champion Cody Kaiser, Chris Wallace and Jeff Bahnson will be racing for the US in the Juniors race.
Canadians Conor O’Brien, Kiernan Orange and Mackenzie Carson are racing in the Juniors race while no Canadians are registered in either the Elite Women or U23 Men’s events.