The UCI today announced that the planned inaugural UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup round in Montreal, Canada, has been cancelled due to lack of funds.
The race was due to take place on September 19, 2015, after the World Cup at CrossVegas.
"Despite final efforts to secure the significant government funding necessary to host a high-level World Cup event, this has not been received in time to comfortably proceed," the UCI announcement stated. "With teams and suppliers needing to plan ahead, it was felt that the decision not to proceed for 2015 had to be made at this time.
"It is the plan and desire of both the UCI and Cycling Canada to hold the event in the future. The intention is to secure the necessary financial support prior to accepting the event on the calendar, and then deliver a top-level competition in Canada."
Riders took to Twitter to vent their disappointment. "Really frustrated and disappointed to learn the Montreal world cup is cancelled," US champion Jeremy Powers wrote.
His compatriot Jonathan Page wrote, "Anything we can do about Montreal cancelation?? Bad for those who already bought travel. Bad for N American cross. Just bad overall really."
"What a blunder," stated Wout van Aert. "Once again a beautiful foreign World Cup is cancelled."
Sven Nys, who helped push for the globalisation of 'cross said, "Instead of one step forward, we are now taking one backward."
UCI officially adds U23 women's category to 'cross Worlds
The UCI also confirmed that the 2016 Cyclo-cross World Championships in Heusden Zolder would include a women's under-23 category and offer prize money equal to that of the under-23 men's field.
"This new category will also apply to Continental Championships and – for the National Federations who wish to follow suit – to National Championships," the UCI stated.
The elite women will also see a bump in prize money, with an increase of 50 per cent planned for 2015-2016 UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup, and other initiatives for C1 and C2 events.
Helen Wyman, a member of the UCI Cyclo-cross Commission, said in a press release, “I am really happy with the progress the UCI Cyclo-cross Commission is making for women in the discipline. The increase in prize money for women, particularly in the UCI World Cup, is fantastic. Offering this kind of reward enables the sport to keep its star riders and ensure the exciting level of competition we have been privileged to experience in the last few seasons.
"With Marianne Vos now joining the Commission as the riders’ representative, we now have two female members. This allows us as to take this sport in the right direction for everyone, male and female. These are exciting times for cyclo-cross and I can not wait to continue the progress we have already made.”