Louisville offers a glimpse of its 2013 'cross Worlds in Koksijde
Tábor will host the 2015 world championships
On the eve of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Koksijde, Belgium, the delegation of the 2013 edition in Louisville, Kentucky, organized a presentation in the casino of Koksijde. All sorts of representatives within the cyclo-cross world showed up to find out about the first world championships to be organized outside the old continent. Among them was a delegation of American riders from the Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld team including Caitlin Antonneau, James Driscoll, Nicole Duke and Timothy Johnson.
Koksijde Mayor Marc Vanden Bussche started a series of short speeches. He explained how happy the Belgian coastal town was that a prestigious big city like Louisville follows in its footsteps. A representative of the Louisville tourism office taught the attendees how to pronounce the city's name. A good thing he did so as the host of the evening had started talking about Lewisville.
The Mayor of Louisville, Greg Fischer, wasn't onsite to say a word but in a video message, he showed off the possibilities of Louisville and then offered everybody a glass of Bourbon whiskey, a treat that was well received in Koksijde as soon as it was distributed by local bar tenders.
Steve Johnson, USA Cycling CEO, explained how important the cyclo-cross discipline has become and how much the discipline has exploded in the US.
UCI president Pat McQuaid was onsite as well. He emphasized the fact that the American organizers cannot expect to attract the same amount of spectators in Louisville that are expected in Koksijde. "This year, the world championships are held in the heart of the cyclo-cross world. This weekend there will be around 50,000 spectators onsite in Koksijde. If the organizers can get only half that amount of people together in Louisville, they will have already accomplished their mission," McQuaid said.
Louisville race organizer Bruce Fina then gave commentary on video footage which showed the location of the world championships venue - the Eva Bandman Park - and the most important parts of this newly designed cyclo-cross course. The city park was named after the lady from whom the city inherited this piece of land next to the Ohio river. "After the start, the riders make a drop of about five meters due to the natural elevation from the higher river road down to the land along the river," Fina said. The course includes a fly-over and two run-ups. "The technical riders will be able to ride over this obstacle while the fast runners will do it in the same time."
Fina informed people that the venue is 3km away from the Galt House Hotel, which will be the official UCI hotel; it has almost 1300 rooms. The local airport is less than 10km away and connects with Chicago, Washington and Newark.
By the end of the presentation, all attendees were handed their glass of whiskey. The presentation concluded when all speakers were joined by co-organizer Joan Hanscom on the podium and they raised their glasses of bourbon whiskey to the 2013 world championships in Louisville.
Hanscom informed Cyclingnews that live broadcasting of the event had been decided yet. "But that part of the organization is in the hands of the UCI as it has those rights," Hanscom said.
Later on Friday evening, the news was announced that the Czech city of Tábor will once again host the world championships, this time in 2015. The city organized the event a first time in 2001 when Erwin Vervecken won the elite men's race and Hanka Kupfernagel the elite women's race.
Just two years ago, Tábor organized the world championships for a second time. Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) won on home soil in 2010 while Marianne Vos (Stichting Rabo Women) won the women's race.
The 2014 event hasn't been awarded just yet.
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By Josh Croxton