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Floods risk forces changes to world cyclo-cross race programme

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A remarkable amount of work is being done in a very short period of time as rising water threatens the 'cross Worlds course at Eva Bandman Park.

A remarkable amount of work is being done in a very short period of time as rising water threatens the 'cross Worlds course at Eva Bandman Park. (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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As riders make this right hand turn to approach the pits for the second time they can see the Ohio River straight ahead.

As riders make this right hand turn to approach the pits for the second time they can see the Ohio River straight ahead. (Image credit: Peter Hymas)
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UCI Cyclo-cross Commission member Peter van den Abeele surveys the work being done to protect the Worlds course from rising waters of the Ohio River.

UCI Cyclo-cross Commission member Peter van den Abeele surveys the work being done to protect the Worlds course from rising waters of the Ohio River. (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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As Beargrass Creek, a tributary of the Ohio River, rises, protective barriers have been constructed next to the cyclo-cross Worlds course to inhibit the flooding of the venue.

As Beargrass Creek, a tributary of the Ohio River, rises, protective barriers have been constructed next to the cyclo-cross Worlds course to inhibit the flooding of the venue. (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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These sand bags will soon be put to use keeping the rising Ohio River away from the cyclo-cross Worlds course.

These sand bags will soon be put to use keeping the rising Ohio River away from the cyclo-cross Worlds course. (Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Some parts of the park are under water

Some parts of the park are under water (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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However you spell Louisville, its going to be a great day of racing on Saturday

However you spell Louisville, its going to be a great day of racing on Saturday (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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A a temporary dam has been built to keep the Ohio River back

A a temporary dam has been built to keep the Ohio River back (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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One of several steep, punchy ascents on the Louisville USGP circuit.

One of several steep, punchy ascents on the Louisville USGP circuit. (Image credit: Peter Hymas)

The organisers of the UCI Cyclo-Cross world championships in Louisville, Kentucky have confirmed that all the races will be held on Saturday due to a risk of flooding on the course on Sunday.

The revised race schedule was decided after meetings between the local authorities, organisers and the UCI. It means that the four titles will be contested on one day, at the following (local) times. The tight schedule means the medal ceremonies will be held at the end of the racing, following the Elite men's race.

Forecast data from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) projects that high water levels in the Ohio River will cause Beargrass Creek to flood the low lying areas of Eva Bandman Park in Louisville, in the early hours on Sunday morning and that water level will continue to rise for the subsequent 48 hours.

"We have had some crazy weather this week - from tornados to snow... upstream there has been heavy rain and the Army Corps of Engineers is predicting the river will flood the course by 1am Sunday morning," technical director Joan Hanscom told Cyclingnews.

"The Parks Department has taken extraordinary measures to build a temporary dam to keep the river back for Saturday. What they've done has been nothing short of miraculous. But mother nature can't be held back entirely."

"All of the Sunday tickets will be honored on Saturday - the gates will open at 8am rather than 9. USA Cycling will be issuing refunds for any unused Sunday tickets."

Race Schedule for Saturday February 2:

Junior men: 9:45am
Elite women:11:00am
U23 men:12:30pm
Elite men: 2:30pm.