After Sven Nys wrapped up his 13th Superprestige title in Middelkerke, Belgium, yesterday, the series organisers announced the calendar for the 2014-15 season.
The 33rd edition of the cyclo-cross series will receive a small face lift. After 10 years Hamme-Zogge will disappear from the Superprestige calendar and in its place will be the Grand Prix de la Région Wallonne, with the famous Spa-Francorchamps Formula One car circuit hosting the race. It marks the first time that the cyclo-cross series will venture into the Wallonne region of Belgium.
"We are delighted that after 33 seasons, finally able to cross the language barrier to a mythical place in Wallonia," Superprestige president Etienne Gevaert said at the presentation of the new calendar.
Race organizer Marc Duquesnoy explained to Cyclingnews that things started to fall together when Golazo Sports-organizer Christophe Impens stepped in to assist regarding finding a new venue for the Grand Prix de la Région Wallonne 'cross race, which no longer had a home after the city of Dottignies withdrew support. The former 1500 metre runner Impens knew people in Francorchamps and a deal was quickly signed.
"I organized a race in Dottignies for more than twenty years," Duquesnoy said. "Dottignies no longer wants to invest in cyclo-cross so we had to stop. I'm part of the deal because I own the race license. We were a category 2 race but now we'll move up to category 1."
Back in December it was Marcel Meisen (Kwadro-Stannah) who won the last edition of the GP Wallonie in Dottignies.
"Spa-Francorchamps is the most beautiful circuit in the world," said Duquesnoy. "The future of the Grand Prix de la Région Wallonne is assured and that makes me very happy."
Triple cyclo-cross world champion Erwin Vervecken works for Golazo Sports and he designed the course. "It'll be very compact, so attractive for spectators. The famous Raidillon is the key part of the course. The Eau Rouge and a steep 17 percent climb are also featured. It'll be a course for climbers," Vervecken said.
The Superprestige round in Spa-Francorchamps will be held on November 23, the day after the World Cup round in Koksijde. The 2014-15 Superprestige begins on October 5, 2014 in Casting and finishes February 14, 2015 in Middelkerke.
2014-15 Superprestige calendar:
Sunday, October 5th, 2014: Casting
Sunday, November 2nd, 2014: Zonhoven
Sunday, November 9th, 2014: Ruddervoordestraat
Sunday, November 16, 2014: Asper-Gavere
Sunday, November 23, 2014: Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
Sunday, December 28, 2014: Diegem
Sunday, February 8th, 2015: Hoogstraten
Saturday, February 14, 2015: Middelkerke