The organisers of the KMC Cyclo-cross Festival in Providence, Rhode Island, announced this week that they intend to bid for inclusion in the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup after receiving encouragement from both the UCI and the support of the state's Governor, Lincoln Chafee, and the Mayor-elect of Providence, Jorge Elorza.
The UCI Technical Delegate Simon Burney reviewed the event which took place in October, and gave the race high marks. The UCI's off-road manager Peter van den Abeele then encouraged the organisers to apply for the World Cup.
"I am quite confident that with sufficient backing and support from your event partners, the City of Providence and your event team, that you potentially have an event that is of World Cup calibre and a World Cup bid should be considered and would certainly be viewed seriously by the UCI when planning... for the 2015-2016 calendar," Van den Abeele said to the race organisers.
Richard Fries, the event director, recently inked a five-year agreement with KMC Chain to support the race, and will be revealing a presenting sponsor next week. The financial support will go a long way toward making the long-anticipated World Cup arrival in the USA a reality.
"We want to host a World Cup in Providence," Fries told Cyclingnews. "At the earliest we will inscribe to do so for 2015; at the latest we will do so for 2016. The deadline for that decision is December 1. I am personally traveling to the Milton Keynes World Cup to meet with key UCI officials to discuss this matter."
The World Cup will make its first departure from Continental Europe when it heads to Milton Keynes in the UK next week. The USA has been talking about hosting a World Cup round for several years but convincing the sport's top stars to endure the travel and the jet lag to compete there is an idea that has only begun to gain acceptance in the pro ranks.
Chinks in the armour of the European 'crossers began to emerge in 2013 when former world champion Sven Nys and the UCI cyclo-cross commission gave their support to the idea of bringing the top 'cross races to the USA. The position of Providence on the calendar, after CrossVegas but before the start of the major race series, the BPost Bank Trofee and Superprestige, and its location on the east coast, make it ideal for a first foray.
Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Deputy Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news. A swimmer in her younger days, Laura made the change to cycling later in life, but was immediately swept up by a huge passion for the sport. Riding for fitness quickly gave way to the competitive urge, and a decade of racing later she can look back on a number of high profile races and say with confidence, "I started". While her racing days are over for the most part, she continues to dabble in cyclo-cross and competing against fellow pathletes on the greenways of Raleigh, North Carolina.
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