Friday January 29, 2010
First World Championships to be held outside of Europe in 2012 and 2013
USA Cycling is honored to announce that Louisville, Kentucky, was chosen today by the Union Cycliste Internationale, cycling's international governing body, to host the 2013 Elite Cyclo-cross World Championships and the 2012 and 2013 Masters Cyclo-cross World Championships.
This historic appointment is the first time the Cyclo-cross World Championships will be held outside of Europe in the 50 plus year history of the championships. These events will mark the first Elite Cycling World Championship of any discipline held on U.S. soil since the Track World Championships took place in Los Angeles in 2005.
"After more than a decade of working closely with American promoters and the UCI to grow our international calendar of cyclo-cross events, Louisville's winning bid is a testament to the success of those efforts and to the extraordinary quality of 'cross racing in the U.S.," USA Cycling CEO Steve Johnson said.
Under the leadership of Mayor Jerry Abramson, Louisville is building America's first permanent, major-city cyclo-cross facility at Eva Bandman Park, near downtown. Working with local cyclo-cross enthusiasts, Louisville Metro Government is developing a venue that can support local races and youth riding programs, while also hosting national and international races. The course at Eva Bandman also will serve as a home for US Gran Prix (USGP) races and as a year round cycling park.
"I'm so proud that Louisville is the first city outside Europe to be awarded the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships," said Abramson. "We're turning Louisville into one of our nation's most bike-friendly cities by investing in bicycle infrastructure, listening to the needs of local cyclists, and hosting events that draw more attention to cycling. Our local cyclo-cross teams are among the nation's best, and we're developing a venue that will help them keep their competitive edge."
The Louisville Sports Commission and the community of Louisville also voiced excitement and support of the event.
"On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Louisville Sports Commission and the entire local community, we want to thank the UCI for awarding the World Cyclo-cross championships to Louisville," said Karl Schmitt, Executive Director of the Louisville Sports Commission. "We also appreciate the confidence that the USGP of Cyclo-cross and USA Cycling have in our ability to host these prestigious events."
US Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross (USGP) promoters Bruce Fina and Joan Hanscom will produce the races in partnership with the Louisville Sports Commission and USA Cycling.
"This is thrilling news," said Fina. "We have worked for six years with the USA Cycling National Team and six years on the USGP to further develop the sport in the U.S. to the point where our riders can be competitive on the global stage. Hosting the Worlds in the U.S. is the next logical step. We hope to see a continued increase in the number of professional cross racers in the states and hope this venue will enhance that goal."
Louisville has hosted a stop on the USGP since 2007, as well as multiple USA Cycling Masters National Road Championships, demonstrating a vibrant cycling community and tremendous local support of the championships.
"I was impressed with the vision and detail of the plans to develop the area into a cyclo-cross race venue," said UCI technical delegate Simon Burney. "The area, terrain and surroundings lend themselves perfectly to a major race venue, and with the city of Louisville firmly behind the project the opportunity for world class events certainly looks exciting."