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Albert headlines strong pre-'cross Worlds field in Cincinnati

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Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) won the overall World Cup

Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) won the overall World Cup (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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U23 men's World Cup leader Wietse Bosmans (Belgium) soloed to victory at the final round in Hoogerheide.

U23 men's World Cup leader Wietse Bosmans (Belgium) soloed to victory at the final round in Hoogerheide. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Switzerland's Simon Zahner (EKZ Racing Team)

Switzerland's Simon Zahner (EKZ Racing Team) (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Switzerland's Julien Taramarcaz (BMC Mountainbike Racing Team) at home on the difficult Koppenbergcross circuit.

Switzerland's Julien Taramarcaz (BMC Mountainbike Racing Team) at home on the difficult Koppenbergcross circuit. (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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European champion Helen Wyman (Kona)

European champion Helen Wyman (Kona) (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Radomir Simunek in his new Kwadro-Stannah kit in Baal

Radomir Simunek in his new Kwadro-Stannah kit in Baal (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Long-time team-mates Katerina Nash (L) and Georgia Gould (R)

Long-time team-mates Katerina Nash (L) and Georgia Gould (R) (Image credit: Epic Rides)
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Meredith Miller (California Giant Berries/Specialized) slipped back a couple spots but then seemed to hold her own

Meredith Miller (California Giant Berries/Specialized) slipped back a couple spots but then seemed to hold her own (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Andrew Dillman (Bob'’s Red Mill) on lap two

Andrew Dillman (Bob'’s Red Mill) on lap two (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)

With the final round of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup in the books last Sunday, members of various European national teams for the upcoming UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships have begun to arrive in the United States in preparation for the historic event taking place in Louisville, Kentucky on February 2-3.

And with Cincinnati, Ohio located just 90 minutes north of Louisville, several stars of the European 'cross peloton, most notably Belgium's Niels Albert, have opted to join many from the US national team to contest a final tune-up race on Saturday, January 26, at Cincinnati Kings International Cyclo-cross. 

"It is a rare opportunity to witness our US elite up against European elites in a non-Worlds environment," said race director Corey Green. "It is also a rare opportunity to race as an amateur on the same course, on the same day as the reigning world champion."

Already confirmed for the elite men's race are riders from Belgium, Switzerland, Czech Republic and Denmark including outgoing world champion and recently crowned World Cup champion Niels Albert (competing in the rainbow-striped jersey for the final team prior to Worlds), U23 men's World Cup winner Wietse Bosmans, Swiss national champion Julien Taramarcaz and compatriot Simon Zahner (a podium finisher at last weekend's World Cup in Hoogerheide), the Czech Republic's Radomir Simunek and Vojtech Nipl plus Denmark's Joachim Parbo.

Joining the European contingent in Cincinnati from the world championship's host nation are five members of the US elite men's Worlds team including newly crowned national champion Jonathan Page, Jeremy Powers, Ryan Trebon, Tim Johnson and Jamey Driscoll. Two of the US U23 Worlds team members, Andrew Dillman and Josh Johnson, are also slated to compete. Canada, too, will be well-represented in Cincinnati with elite Worlds team members Craig Richey and Mike Garrigan plus U23 national champion Evan McNeely and two of his U23 Worlds teammates Andrew l’Espérance and Michael van den Ham.

With equal prize money for women, the list of confirmed racers is also impressive including Great Britain's Helen Wyman (reigning European champion), former Czech champion and Worlds medalist Katerina Nash, Swiss champion Jasmine Achermann, Canada's Pepper Harlton plus three members of the US's Worlds team: Georgia Gould, Amy Dombroski and Meredith Miller.

The elite women's race will start at 2pm EST, followed by the elite men at 3:30pm EST. For more information, visit the race website at cincinnaticyclocross.com.