UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships to be held at Eva Bandman Park
For the first time in its 60+ year history, the event will be held outside of Europe on
Feb. 2-3 in Louisville, Kentucky
Louisville, KY – January 16, 2013 – The UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships will pedal into Louisville on February 2-3, 2013. For the first time in the international event’s 63-year history, it will be held outside of Europe, at Eva Bandman Park on River Road near downtown Louisville.
The world championships will feature 300 top professional riders from approximately 25 countries and is expected to draw crowds of 5,000 to 6,000 per day, including fans, cyclists and officials from throughout the U.S., Europe and other parts of the world.
The event is estimated to generate more than $3 million in economic impact to the local economy and will result in extensive media coverage for Louisville both in the U.S. and across Europe, including a world television feed broadcast to millions in Europe during prime time. Approximately 120 domestic and international journalists will cover the event.
“We are hosting an internationally sanctioned, world championship of cycling, with elite athletes, officials and spectators converging on Louisville from across the U.S. and around the world,” said Louisville Sports Commission Executive Director Karl Schmitt.
Cyclists will race at the recently created cyclo-cross course at Eva Bandman Park, the only dedicated cyclo-cross course in the nation.
“This event provides an excellent opportunity to showcase our community and the Commonwealth of Kentucky, will validate Eva Bandman Park as a world class cyclo-cross course and will generated significant economic impact through inbound sports travel, especially welcome during the winter months,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fisher.
World’s top ‘cross’ racers to put city’s course to the test
Cyclo-cross racing is the fastest-growing cycling discipline in North America. Described by its loyal following as “an hour of pain,” cyclo-cross takes place on pavement, over grass, through sand and mud and requires the rider to quickly dismount and carry the bike while navigating obstructions and man-made obstacles.
The World Championships will put the world’s top cyclists on the course constructed at the nearly 60-acre Eva Bandman Park, situated between River Road and the Ohio River just east of downtown. Louisville Metro Parks began constructing the world-class course in 2009 and the following year the park hosted the 2010 USGP Derby City Cup. The World’s Championships will be the highest profile event held at the course, which features sand mounds, numerous run-ups, flyovers and wooded areas.
There will be two races each day of the Elite World Championships. On Feb. 2, the men’s junior race for ages 17-19 will take place at 11 a.m. and men’s U23s (ages 19-22) will take place at 2:30 p.m. On Feb. 3, the women’s elite race will be held at 11 a.m. and the men’s elite race will be held at 2:30 p.m. The world cyclo-cross championships are owned by the Lucerne, Switzerland-based UCI, the international governing body of cycling, and will be operated by USA Cycling with support from the Louisville Sports Commission and Louisville Metro Parks.
“Louisville will be better-positioned to host additional national and international events after the world’s best riders compete on this course. And most important, cyclo-cross is an amazing experience for fans – expect an eclectic mix of lively spectators with an international flavor and high-energy action on the course,” said Schmitt.
“The improvements made to the Eva Bandman Park came from the vision of local cycling enthusiasts and the support of local leaders,” said Fischer. “Through the hard work of Louisville Metro Park and many others, we now have a legacy facility for our local, state-wide and regional cycling community and a premier course for year-round recreational and competitive use.”
The 2013 Elite World Championship at Eva Bandman will be preceded by the Masters World Championships Jan. 28-31 at Champions Park, also located along River Road. Approximately 600 cyclists, ranging in age 30 to 75, will compete in Masters races.
The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), which is the international governing body of cycling and the owner of the Masters and Elite World Championships, will hold its management committee meeting in Louisville during the Elite Championships. The UCI board is comprised of representatives of all cycling disciplines from numerous countries throughout the world.
Championship-level infrastructure being built
The Louisville Sports Commission will be coordinating with UCI officials, as well as city public works, parks and public safety officials to coordinate the infrastructure necessary for the World Championships, including:
“We are building world championship-level infrastructure at Eva Bandman Park in less than a week,” Schmitt said.
For the safety of spectators, athletes and crews constructing the course and infrastructure, a traffic detour will affect a portion of River Road. From Jan. 28 through Feb 5, through traffic will not be allowed west of Edith Avenue or east of Frankfort Avenue.
Motorists will be directed to a number alternate routes. Westbound traffic into downtown can use Zorn Avenue to I-71 or Mellwood Avenue; Edith Avenue to Mellwood Avenue; Brownsboro Road and Frankfort Avenue; and I-64. Alternative routes for eastbound traffic out of downtown include River Road to Frankfort Ave, Adams St., I-71, I-64 and Market Street. Businesses on both sides of Eva Bandman Park will have local access at all times.
“Louisville is accustomed to handling big-time sporting events, as well as the traffic management that often goes along with that,” Schmitt said. “We will have officers directing traffic at key locations and will make adjustments as necessary to minimize inconvenience to motorists.”
Ticket and other information is available online on the Louisville Championships 2013 website at www.louisville2013.com and on the Louisville Sports Commission website at www.louisvillesports.org
ABOUT LOUISVILLE SPORTS COMMISSION
The Louisville Sports Commission (LSC) is a Louisville, Kentucky-based 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to create a legacy of economic and social vitality through sports. LSC attracts and hosts sporting events and activities that have a positive economic impact on Louisville, enhance the area’s image as a premier sports destination, promote healthy lifestyles and improve the quality of life for community members of all ages. More information is available online at www.louisvillesports.org and www.facebook.com/louisvillesportscommission.
UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships
Origins of the Sport. Cyclo-cross has its origins in the early 20th century in Central Europe and is most popular in Belgium, France and the Netherlands with significant participation in Germany, France Czech Republic and surrounding areas. The sport was born when road cyclists, who in their late fall and winter off-season, took to the trails, fields and pavement to train. Over time, the competitive nature took over and cyclo-cross was born. While relatively small in number of participants when compared to road and mountain biking, cyclo-cross has spread throughout the globe. The sport became popular along the West Coast of the U.S. in the 1970s and is now the fastest-growing cycling discipline in North America. Today, many amateur and professional BMX, road and mountain bike riders take to cyclo-cross in the winter.
Cyclo-cross in Louisville. The cyclo-cross movement in Louisville started in the late 1990s and early 2000s with several riders taking the path from road, mountain bike and BMX to cyclo-cross. Local cycling aficionados Brad Swope, Bob Bobrow and others formed teams and put on local events at the old River Road Country Club (RRCC). The sport grew in popularity and in 2007, out-of-town promoters found fertile ground when they created a stop in Louisville on the US Grand Prix of Cyclocross (USGP) with the help of the Louisville Sports Commission. Today, there are nearly 1,000 active cyclo-cross riders in the Louisville area with teams supported by Papa John’s Whayne Supply, Texas Roadhouse and other businesses.
Eva Bandman Park. When River Road Country Club was designated for an alternative use, then-Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson helped chart the vision to develop an expansive recreational corridor along River Road, including a world-class cyclo-cross course as part of the Louisville Metro Park system. Abramson committed the resources to upgrade Eva Bandman Park, an underutilized city park along River Road located less than two miles from downtown, into one of the few cyclo-cross only facilities in the U.S. Louisville Metro Mayor Greg Fischer’s team has continued to support this initiative at Eva Bandman and the community’s efforts to host successful world championships.
World Cyclo-cross Championships in Louisville.In 2008, the Louisville Sports Commission began working with Metro Parks and the Mayor’s Office to develop the new course and, with third-party promoters, attract the World Championships to Louisville. In January 2010, Louisville was awarded the Championships by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the international governing body of cycling.