Since the first elite women's cyclo-cross world championship was contested in 2000 at Sint-Michielsgestel, The Netherlands, the women's race has taken place on Sunday mornings, prior to the elite men's contest, in the two-day format.
At the upcoming 'cross Worlds, taking place February 1-2 in Hoogerheide, The Netherlands, the organising committee has swapped the traditional time slots of the U23 men and elite women, however, so the women will now have the marquee, afternoon spot on Saturday.
"That way the women's race is the main program during the first day of the world championship," Jan Prop, president of the organising committee, told cyclo-cross.info. "The live broadcast of the race, with this change, will have a more prominent place for TV programming."
The major attraction for the upcoming women's cyclo-cross world championship is undoubtedly Dutch superstar Marianne Vos, the six-time and reigning 'cross world champion who has won the rainbow jersey for the past five straight editions. Her 2009 world title was earned in Hoogerheide, the last time the venue hosted 'cross Worlds. The race organisation hopes crowds will turn out in droves to support Vos on her bid to win a seventh 'cross world title on home soil.
"With the hugely popular Marianne Vos as a public attraction we hope the spectators will descend both days," said Prop.
On Saturday, February 1 the junior men's world championship will take place in Hoogerheide at 11:00am followed by the elite women at 3:00pm. The time slots are identical for Sunday, February 2nd's races with the U23 men contesting their world championship at 11:00am followed by the elite men at 3:00pm.