UCI wants to link the American and European cyclo-cross circuits
By Brecht Decaluwé
It's public knowledge that the UCI wants to take cyclo-cross abroad by organising a world cup event in the US next season. UCI-president Pat McQuaid supports the ideas of his cyclo-cross coordinator Peter Van den Abeele and recently said that the event would take place in October at the Roger Williams Park in Providence, Rhode Island - the same course where the US Cyclo-cross Championships were held in 2005 and 2006. "Our president launched this news but it's not definitively sure," Van den Abeele said yesterday.
Two weeks ago, at the world cup in Hofstade, Van den Abeele spoke with Cyclingnews on the subject of US cyclo-cross. "There are about 38 UCI cyclo-cross races there, which is not too bad I think, nevertheless it's a completely separate circuit," he said. "We hope to organise a world cup event abroad in the near future."
Back in November, Van den Abeele and his team had given up their hopes to organise an event in the US, but a meeting with UCI-president McQuaid turned things around. "He saw the statistics about cross' evolution in the US and immediately made a phone call to USA Cycling and that surely got things moving," Van den Abeele explained. "We really hope to organise the world cup event next year when the season starts."
The US event could replace the world cup held in Aigle, near the UCI headquarters. "Aigle is far from certain as there wasn't much interest for the race... in Switzerland you need to organize races near Wetzikon where cross is still alive and kicking," Van den Abeele concluded.