CrossVegas promoter says World Cup talk is premature

CrossVegas promoter Brook Watts says talk of a cyclocross World Cup in Las Vegas is premature

Reports emerged from Europe Monday that the UCI Cyclocross World Cup would make its first foray outside the continent in 2015 with a stop at CrossVegas in Las Vegas, but the event’s promoter called confirmation of the event premature. The late-September race piggybacks with the Interbike tradeshow and has seen a flight of elite European professionals at the start.

“In September 2015 Las Vegas is part of the World Cup circuit. This is now fixed,” Van Den Abeele said, according to Het Nieuwsblad.

Two-time world champion Sven Nys (Crelan-Trek), a member of the UCI’s Cyclocross Commission, won the 2013 edition and welcomed the news on Twitter, writing, “Yes, we have a world cup in vegas!”

CrossVegas promoter Brook Watts told VeloNews via email that he was in talks with the UCI, but that nothing was firm.

“Discussions with the UCI about CrossVegas becoming a World Cup that began in 2008 are ongoing today, albeit at a more serious tone,” said Watts. “CrossVegas has proved it is a world-class race worthy of a spot among other events like the World Cup, Superprestige, or BPost series races in Europe. We continue to work toward a goal of globalizing our sport and look forward to being a part of that for many years.

“At this time our energies are concentrated toward staging a successful 2014 event, including the introduction today of a new sponsorship webpage, and working with the team in Cincinnati to present the first Pan-American ’Cross Championships for our part of the globe.”

Watts told VeloNews in August 2013 that he expected a World Cup soon in the United States, but would not commit to his race’s entry to the discipline’s top circuit.

“While I’d love to have on my tombstone having promoted the first World Cup in the U.S., I’m not going to risk economic ruin to make it happen,” said Watts. “I know there are a couple parties that are interested, but I don’t know how far along they are with their proposals. It has to be a location that can draw a reasonable crowd, close to an international airport, but a location that has natural interest to international visitors because a significant portion of the crowd will be international visitors. There will be some superfans that make the trip and want to see a World Cup.”