The 2013 world cyclo-cross championships will be held in Louisville, Kentucky, the UCI announced on Friday.
As part of the agreement, Louisville will also host the 2012 and 2013 world master cyclo-cross championships.
It is the first time a cyclo-cross world championships will be held in the USA and is thanks to the hard work of Joan Hanscom and Bruce Fina, who organise the US Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross in Louisville.
“This is thrilling news. We’ve been working for six years with the US Cycling National Team and six years on the USGP to further develop the sport in the US to the point where our riders can be competitive on a global scale. Hosting the worlds in the US is the next logical step,” Fina said in a statement issued by USA Cycling.
Despite most riders facing a transatlantic flight to take part, the big names in the sport are enthusiastic about racing in Louisville. Belgian cross star Sven Nys even said he would delay his planned retirement in 2012 so that he could ride in the 2013 world championships.
The course for the world championships will be in the Eva Bandman park, just a mile from the centre of Louisville. The venue is set to become a permanent cyclo-cross park thanks to support from the city of Louisville.
“I was impressed with the vision and detail of the plans to develop the area into a cyclo-cross race venue. The area, terrain and surroundings lend themselves perfectly to a major race venue,” UCI cyclo-cross technical delegate Simon Burney, who inspected the course, said.
UCI President Pat McQuaid, highlighted the significance of the decision to award the 2013 world championships to Louisville: “For the first time since this event was established some 60 years ago, the cyclo-cross world championships will take place in the United States, where the discipline is currently experiencing very strong growth. We are extremely happy with the award of this event as it is a clear illustration of the UCI’s strategy to globalise cycle sport. I would like to congratulate the promoters of this initiative, as well as the city of Louisville, and wish them the best of luck with their work.”
The world cyclo-cross championships will be held in Sankt Wendel, Germany in 2011 and in Koksijde, Belgium in 2012.