The final test run for the 2013 UCI World Elite Cyclo-cross Championships powered by Exergy is being held this weekend at the Eva Bandman Park in Louisville, KY. The Trek US Gran Prix of Cyclocross p/b Greenware® and WD-40 Bike Derby City Cup offers up a chance for racers and spectators alike to experience the course that will be used for World Championships in February 2nd and 3rd, 2013.
The world’s attention will turn to Louisville in a few months when the UCI World Elite Cyclo-cross Championships will be held outside Europe for the first time since the first world title was awarded 60 years ago. Tickets for this historic event can be purchased online at www.louisville2013.com.
The Eva Bandman Park has been the site for previous UCI-sanctioned cyclo-cross racers but this weekend will be the first time that the course designed for Louisville 2013 will be tested in race conditions. The design took into account feedback from many of the top races that competed at previous USGP races.
“The goal when we designed the Louisville 2013 course was to make a competitive course that is fair for everyone.” explained Bruce Fina, Louisville 2013 Executive Director.
“Though last year’s USGP didn’t use the same course, it utilized many of the same features. I talked to Katie Compton, Ryan Trebon, Jeremy Powers and everybody said the features were good,and that it would be a good race. Simply the best racer is going to win.”
Lessons were learned at the 2012 UCI Masters Cyclo-cross World Championships held on the same venue last year when the weather conditions varied dramatically, from sunshine and warmth to snow and cold and everything in between and mud.
“We learned that we have to be prepared for the worst weather.” laughed Fina. “The Metro Parks department is prepared to address this situation no matter what kind of weather we’re faced with.”
Working with the Louisville Metro Parks, materials such as woodchips, gravel and equipment are now available on site at the Eva Bandman Park. Of note, the pit is equipped with three frost-proof taps coming out of the ground on a raised bed with drainage, connected via a to a permanent underground waterline.
“It was am exciting project.” said Marty Storch, Assistant Director of Louisville Metro Parks. Started in 2009, the work to turn the Eva Bandman Park into a premiere cyclocross venue was completed in 2011 for the USGP Derby City Cup. “It turned a park that wasn’t being used for a lot of great things, we put a lot of energy in it and a lot of good things to come out of it.”
Storch was deservedly proud of the work that his staff put in to turn an overgrown dis-used area into a park that can be used by cyclo-cross and mountain bikers. “I am fortunate enough to have staff that are eager to try new things and obviously none of us had ever built a cyclo-cross park before so we put our heads together and we came up with something that I think is okay.”
Every year features have been added to the venue, from a permanent fly-over, to railroad ties run-up, to limestone steps run-up in addition to the native sand dunes and grasses. The top of the fly-over, nicknamed the green monster, was also extended by the Metro Parks staff after getting feedback from the racers.
Storch concluded, “We tried to look at all the features and then figure out how many different ways we could arrive at that point. It’s something that you can tweak.”
Racing for the USGP Derby City Cup starts at 8am EST on Saturday 10, and Sunday 11, 2012. Full schedule and more information available at http://www.usgpcyclocross.com/site/races/derby-city-cup