The US and Canada will host their first cyclo-cross World Cups in Las Vegas and Montreal in September. The UCI announced the 2015-16 World Cup calendar on Friday in Tabor, Czech Republic, and the pair of North American races will mark the first and second rounds of the series this fall.
CrossVegas, which has been a UCI C1 race for eight seasons, will host the first World Cup opener for elite men and elite women on September 16 in Las Vegas, and it will mark the first-ever round held outside of Europe. This year, the series held one round outside of continental Europe, in Milton Keynes, Great Britain.
“CrossVegas is honored to be selected. Becoming a UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup race is the natural next step for CrossVegas and is the culmination of years of support from dedicated sponsors and the worldwide cyclocross community,” said CrossVegas director Brook Watts. “For years now, racers, teams and fans from Europe, North America and beyond having been hoping that CrossVegas could be a World Cup. Now that it will be a reality, I’m sure the event will delight ‘cross fans from across the globe who want to see their favorite international racers compete here in the US.”
UCI Cyclo-cross Commission President Mike Plant said, "Adding CrossVegas to the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup calendar of events is another example of the impact this exciting and dynamic sport has for athletes and spectators. The United States continues to be a leader in expanding cyclo-cross event opportunities and we are thrilled to be adding this prestigious event to the UCI Cyclocross World Cup calendar."
Cyclingnews reported in March that Las Vegas would be the likely kickoff to the 2015-16 UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup calendar. Watts said at the time that discussions about CrossVegas becoming a World Cup began back in 2008 and had been on-going at a much faster pace, and with a more serious tone.
Montreal to host round two of the cyclo-cross World Cup
The second round of the 2015-16 World Cup will take place in Montreal, Quebec, on September 19, at a location to be determined soon. It will also be the first time that Montreal will host the world’s elite cyclo-cross racers, more than 200 athletes from 20 countries.
“In Europe, cyclo-cross events celebrate cycling for all, and that’s what we’re aiming for in Montréal,” said Patrice Drouin, president of event producer Gestev.
Canadian cyclo-cross has grown in recent years with national talents Maghalie Rochette and Geoff Kabush, and current national champions Catharine Pendrel and Mike Garrigan, who should all be on the start line, according to a press release from Cycling Canada.
“I’m delighted the second round of the 2015-2016 UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup will be taking us to Montréal,” said UCI President Brian Cookson.
“It shows that cyclo-cross is becoming more international after Louisville hosted the UCI World Championships for the first time in 2013. A new phase has now begun in North America with the first round of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup to ever be organized in Canada. With Montréal following Las Vegas to open the season, these events are pushing back the discipline’s geographic boundaries.”
CrossVegas noted on its website that organizers of both events are working closely to develop their plans with special attention to travel and ground arrangements for racers and supporters. “Our goal will be to make the experience of traveling to North American World Cup events as simple as possible, especially for competitors,” Watts said.