Yes, true story. The elite races in Louisville, Ky. are now scheduled for Saturday. Race organizers and the UCI are concerned about the Ohio River flooding, which would put the race course underwater. Oh, and this is the first time ever 'CROSS WORLD CHAMPS have been held on AMERICAN SOIL.
The NEW schedule:
9:45 AM: 17-18 Junior Elite World Championships
11:00 AM: Female Elite World Championships
12:30 PM: U23 Elite World Championships
2:30 PM; Male Elite World Championships
And, GOOD NEWS! You can watch the races live, on the 'nets, at cxmagazine.com.
Tune in, and you'll see Bend's Ryan Trebon fighting for a podium spot. American Katie Compton has a real shot at winning the women's elite race—which very well may prove to be the best damn race of the weekend. Compton will go head-to-head against Dutch crusher Marianne Voss. Bend's Damian Schmitt is there contesting the men's 35-39 masters worlds age group (racing today! 11:30am PST). And Matt Lasala and other Bend photographers are on hand to capture the scene. Central Oregon is well represented at the main event.
But back to the weather...
Here's a recent report from Cyclocross Magazine:
The parks department is laying more sandbags today to make sure that the races happen tomorrow as planned, however, the one worry is the course tear-down. The plan is to start from the bottom up, working to get generators and TV equipment out before the flooding starts.
As for the elite riders caught unaware, rider reg at opened at 9 AM so information is there when team managers register teams. We were actually alerted to the story by the manager of the Swiss team, who called us to get the scoop on the story, and we immediately began to follow up to find out what was happening.
The Europeans are less than thrilled, since pre-riding the course only opened on Thursday and is rumored to be canceled for today, meaning racers will only have seen the course once, and some not at all. Riders like Geoff Kabush were delayed getting to Louisville because of flight delays and cancellations from weather and because of that, he hasn’t been on course yet. US rider Danny Summerhill comes to Louisville today, and most likely won’t have a chance to pre-ride, though Belgians are telling news sources in Belgium that, “This is an outrage!”
Whatever happens, whatever the response from the Belgians or others, the Cyclocross World Championships are always a big damn deal. 'Cross is fast-growing in popularity, especially here in the U.S. It's hyper competitive, fun to watch and has nearly 100 years of history on its side.
Even the damn Wall Street Journal has taken notice. This is a good read, but remember: no more Super Bowl vs. 'Cross Worlds scheduling crisis. You can have your wings and eat 'em too.
Hopefully this isn't the last time we see 'Cross Worlds in the U.S. While I'm sure that the Euros are unimpressed by a race course that was built on a flood plain, my fingers are crossed that southern hospitality and crack race organizers win 'em over.