Cyclo-Cross World Championship comes to Louisville - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Cyclo-Cross World Championship comes to Louisville

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Workers put the finishing touches on the course. Workers put the finishing touches on the course.
Participants will bike up ramps and run down stairs with cycles in hand. Participants will bike up ramps and run down stairs with cycles in hand.
The course is about 1.2 miles long and took 3 1/2 years to build. The course is about 1.2 miles long and took 3 1/2 years to build.
Karl Schmitt Karl Schmitt
This map shows the closed stretch of River Road and available parking. This map shows the closed stretch of River Road and available parking.

LOUISVILLE, KY ( WAVE) - For the first time in its 63-year existence, the UCI Cyclo-Cross Championship is being held outside Europe, in America, and in Louisville, KY.

Karl Schmitt with the Louisville Sports Commission said Cyclo-Cross is very big in Europe. "It's a winter time sport for cycling enthusiasts." He said the sport has caught on in the United States over the past couple of years.

Three-hundred bikers from 25 countries will take part in the championship on February 2 and 3. It's a championship that's so grueling, many dedicated athletes won't try it.

"They go on pavement; they go through grass, through sand, mud," said Schmitt. "They're forced off their bikes to pick them up and go through manmade and natural barriers. It's referred to from the participants as an hour of pain."

The bikers could have ice on the course. They'll bike up ramps, run down stairs with cycles in hand and have pit stops in tents to replace tires or bikes if needed.

"You're allowed to have two bikes and two people on your pit crew, and that's an area just behind us where they have high pressure water hoses," said Schmitt.

The course is about 1.2 miles long and took 3 1/2 years to build. The two-day event will feature four championships, divided by age. All four will last one hour.

The championship will bring an estimated $5 million to Louisville.

To accommodate the race, River Road will close west of Edith Avenue and east of Frankfort Avenue beginning Monday morning at 5.

The following alternative routes are recommended for drivers:

  • Westbound traffic into downtown area: Zorn Avenue to I-71 or Mellwood Avenue; Edith Avenue to Mellwood Avenue; Brownsboro Road and Frankfort Avenue; and I-64.
  • Eastbound traffic out of downtown areas: River Road to Frankfort Avenue, Adams Street, Market Street, I-71 and I-64.

All businesses along River Road will be open at all times. River Road will be open from the east side for local access to Nugent Sand, River Metals and American Commercial Barge Line.

About 5,000 tickets to the UCI Cyclo-Cross Championship already have been sold to spectators. To purchase tickets, visit www.louisville2013.com.

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