Clif Bar CrossVegas Selected as World Cup
UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup Coming to the US September 16
(January 30, 2015 – Longmont, Colorado) Clif Bar CrossVegas has been selected to host the first race of the 2015-2016 UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup series. The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), competitive cycling’s governing body, announced the 2015-2016 World Cup schedule today in Tabor Czech Republic, marking the first time that a UCI Cyclocross World Cup event will be held outside of Europe.
World Cup CrossVegas will take place on Wednesday evening September 16, 2015 and will include World Cup racing events for Women Elite, Men Elite, as well as a USA Cycling category race and the ever-popular Wheelers & Dealers Industry race.
While CrossVegas is new to hosting a UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup, it is the biggest cyclo-cross race outside of Europe and has been an UCI Category 1 event for the past 8 years. For the last few years racers from over a dozen nations have competed. Competitors have included the world’s top-ranked men and women as well as multiple national and UCI world champions.
“CrossVegas is honored to be selected. Becoming a UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup race is the natural next step for CrossVegas and is the culmination of years of support from dedicated sponsors and the worldwide cyclocross community,” said CrossVegas director Brook Watts. “For years now, racers, teams and fans from Europe, North America and beyond having been hoping that CrossVegas could be a World Cup. Now that it will be a reality, I’m sure the event will delight ‘cross fans from across the globe who want to see their favorite international racers compete here in the US.”
Perhaps no city is better equipped to host a World Cup event than Las Vegas, “the entertainment capitol of the world.” The spectacle of CrossVegas - taking place under the lights with multiple course features designed to challenge racers and provide maximum spectator entertainment - is uniquely suited for Las Vegas. During the same week the city hosts Interbike, the largest bicycle trade show outside of Europe. CrossVegas provides a showcase for athletes and sponsors in front of the crowd of 10,000, including many bicycle industry representatives.
UCI Cyclo-cross Commission President Mike Plant commented, "Adding CrossVegas to the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup calendar of events is another example of the impact this exciting and dynamic sport has for athletes and spectators. The United States continues to be a leader in expanding cyclo-cross event opportunities and we are thrilled to be adding this prestigious event to the UCI Cyclocross World Cup calendar."
UCI Head of Off-Road Peter Van den Abeele, commented: After the 2013 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Louisville, we look forward to another milestone for this exciting discipline thanks to the first ever World Cup round to be held in the United States. Las Vegas will provide a spectacular backdrop to the opening round of the 2015-2016 UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup, and this event will fit in perfectly with the famous Interbike show, underlining the close link between the sport and industry. With the second round of the 2015-2016 Cyclo-cross World Cup taking place in Montreal, our leading cyclo-cross series is definitely pushing back the discipline’s geographical barriers.”
“After successfully hosting the first UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships held outside of Europe, USA Cycling is proud to support the start of the 2015-16 UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup season as it kicks off at CrossVegas,” said USA Cycling CEO and President Steve Johnson. “The honor of hosting the start of the Cyclo-cross World Cup for the first time on American soil is a testament to the tremendous growth of cyclo-cross in the U.S.”
The 2015-2016 UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup series will also include a new round in Montreal, Canada, a few days following CrossVegas. Organizers of both events have worked closely in developing their plans with special attention to travel and ground arrangements for racers and supporters. “Our goal will be to make the experience of traveling to North American World Cup events as simple as possible, especially for competitors,” described Watts. Complete information for spectators and competitors will be available in late spring.
Sven Nys Repeats, Meredith Miller Surprises at Clif Bar CrossVegas
Belgian Champion Sven Nys claimed back-to-back victory at the Clif Bar CrossVegas on Saturday evening. An enthusiastic crowd cheered as the 2013 World Champion accelerated away from a select lead group on the final lap. Dutch Champion Lars van der Haar, a three-time competitor at CrossVegas and winner of the 2011 edition was second. American Champion Jeremy Powers rounded off the podium.
“It was a tactical race. I wanted to wait until the last two or three laps before the end to do something special. A big group in the front [of the race] and it was always waiting, waiting but I felt myself really strong the whole race. I did a few accelerations to close the gap at the beginning of the race, and then I say okay if I can do this in the last lap, I can win if I don't make any mistakes. It went like I hoped and I'm really happy with a victory here, my second one. It's good for the motivation for the next races in Europe.” Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) stated.
Van der Haar (Shimano-Giant) added, “I know Sven pretty well, I know what he does, I know where he does it so I knew that I had to be in front before the barriers but he was still able to get across. Then he knew where my two worst corners were, and he took advantage of that.”
“I felt good enough to do something tonight, I just didn't know what.” Powers (Rapha-Focus) said. “It's good company to be with. It's a good ride, at this time of the year it's good for me.”
Tactics were at the forefront for the first major event of the cyclocross season. A few solo attacks were attempted in the early laps but no rider was able to stay away for long. Halfway through the race, a select group of 12 riders was at the front, testing and watching each other.
Van der Har explained, “In the middle of the race, I tried to close a gap, I saw that it was pretty easy to close the gap but it took a lot of energy so you had to be careful with your energy. Everyone was taking it a little bit calmer, seeing what everyone was capable of.”
The group shuffled and reformed until Nys put in his attack on the barriers. Powers concluded, “As soon as he went, boom boom over the barriers, he had five seconds. His technique obviously helped him there and then he rode away.”
American Meredith Miller sprinted ahead of Katerina Nash of he Czech Republic and American Champion Katie Compton to win the 2014 Clif Bar CrossVegas presented by Lazer.
“Helen (Wyman) (Kona Factory Racing) started fast,” stated Miller (Noosa Pro Cyclocross Team). “She is a very good starter but I know this race is a race of attrition. I knew that I had to just follow the right wheels. At one point, I had to jump across. Once I did I felt okay. I settled in and took a deep breath. I told myself to just stay with these awesome women.”