(Updated) Louisville's bid to host worlds under consideration
There is a possibility that the UCI's Cyclo-cross World Championships could be held in the United States in 2013, making it the first venue outside of Europe to host the event. USGP director Joan Hanscom confirmed to Cyclingnews that she and partner Bruce Fina have submitted the bid to hold the event in Louisville, Kentucky in 2013.
Hanscom said that they've been keeping the bid quiet, but UCI cyclo-cross coordinator Peter van den Abelee spoke of the possibility to the Belgian media today. She was encouraged by Van den Abelee's statement that the US bid was the leader in the race to hold the event.
"It's pretty exciting," Hanscom said. "We've worked very hard to assemble this bid, and it was encouraging to read what Peter had to say."
She was also encouraged by the words of Belgian champion Sven Nys, who told Sporza.be that were the Worlds to go to the USA in 2013 he would continue to race until then.
"This is a boon for cyclo-cross, a major step forward in the internationalization of the sport," said Nys. "In fact, I considered retiring after the 2012 Olympics, but this would inspire me to keep going another winter even though I'll be 37."
The US has tried for several years to bring a cyclo-cross World Cup round to its shores, but funding such an event was complicated by the high start fees earned by the top male riders.
"Without a guaranteed gate [revenue] like you can get in Belgium, a World Cup isn't as financially feasible as a World Championship where riders are funded by their national federations to attend," said Hanscom.
"I can't imagine that a rider would refuse to go to Worlds if selected by his or her country because they were held in the US, so we overcome a bit of the obstacle of athlete participation by having a World Championship."
The city of Louisville has hosted the US Grand Prix of Cyclo-cross round for the past three years as well as hosting the masters US National Championships.
Hanscom said that the venue in the bid is a new dedicated cycling park planned by the city of Louisville.
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