By Lorne Wisely
The International Cycling Union (UCI) announced April 1 that it would add a new class to the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup and World Championships for elite tandems. The class, which is already part of the Coupe de France mountain bike races, will help fuel the rapid-fire growth of the cyclo-cross market, a UCI spokesman explained.
"It adds a whole new facet to the bicycle manufacturing industry that hasn't existed in the past," he said. "With the harsh economic times, the new class will allow tandem manufacturers to target the growing legions of cyclo-cross fanatics."
'Cross promoters in the Pacific Northwestern United States are already preparing for next year's World Championships by setting up clinics on the intricate dance which must occur for a tandem pair to dismount and cross barricades.
"We think this can be just the niche the American riders need to take home a gold medal at Worlds," said singlespeed 'cross championship promoter Bart Haze. "We have plenty of pairs raring to go, and medics standing by ready to clean up the carnage."