USA Cycling today announced that the US cyclo-cross national championships will move back to December after taking place in January since 2012.
The most recent national championships took place in Connecticut in January, with Stephen Hyde and Katie Compton taking top honours in the elite race. The move back to December after this year means 2018 will have two national championships in one calendar year. The first is scheduled for Reno, Nevada, next January, and the second will take place in December of 2018.
"We solicited feedback from our cyclo-cross community, including athletes, parents, race directors and our advisory Cyclocross Committee, and there was overwhelming support to return to December," said Micah Rice, USA Cycling vice president of national events. "We believe this is very positive move and will work closely with any affected December races to ensure their continued success."
The governing body also announced today that Louisville, Kentucky, will host the 2018 championships, with the event moving to Tacoma, Washington, in 2019.
"The cyclo-cross national championships are one of our most prestigious and well-attended events, and we are excited to partner with two very strong cycling communities," Rice said. "Both areas are hotbeds for cyclo-cross and have the passionate grassroots racing community, proven event promoters and supportive civic leadership to ensure strong, successful events."
Louisville previously hosted the 2013 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships - won by Sven Nys and Marianne Vos - and the 2018 race will take place on a new venue at Joe Creason Park.
"Louisville is a vibrant and welcoming community for both recreational and competitive cyclists," said Karl Schmitt, president and CEO of the Louisville Sports Commission. "We've successfully hosted numerous championship-level cycling competitions over the past 20 years, including the UCI Elite and Masters Cyclocross World Championships, and we're thrilled with the opportunity to host the USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships."
In 2019 the championships move to the Pacific Northwest and Steilacoom Park just south of the Seattle-Tacoma International airport. Dean Burke, executive director of the Tacoma South Sound Sports Commission, said the cross-crazy area has been preparing for the championships for a long time.
"The City of Lakewood has been a star for openly embracing cyclo-cross the way they have," Burke said. "Without the right venues, agencies like ours cannot do our job, and Lakewood's Fort Steilacoom Park stands as an iconic venue for the sport in the Pacific Northwest."
Louisville and Tacoma will be the 45th and 46th installments of the annual championships, respectively.