Weather delays World Cyclo-Cross Championship events - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Weather delays World Cyclo-Cross Championship events

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Riders on the Cyclo-cross course Wednesday morning. Riders on the Cyclo-cross course Wednesday morning.
Rick Lyons Rick Lyons
Karl Schmitt Karl Schmitt
Niels Albert Niels Albert

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Issues with water from Wednesday morning's storm forced organizers of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championship to put off the day's races for a couple hours.

Only cyclo-cross racers could turn mud, flood waters and severe storms into a positive thing. "If it snows they don't care. If it rains they don't care. If it's 20 degrees they still race," said fan and volunteer Rick Lyons.

Though water from the heavy rain did delay this Cyclo-cross World Championship Masters competition for two hours.

"They were a little under water there, but not so much that you couldn't ride the course," said Louisville Sports Commission Executive Director Karl Schmitt.

Crews were also pumping rain water out of Eva Bandman Park Wednesday. That's where the big race happens Sunday. Looking at the circuit, current world champion Niels Albert said he's anxious to defend his title here as well as get in a trial run. "We can't train on it because it's too muddy and too wet, but we will see what brings tomorrow. Tomorrow we can train for the first time."

It will be up to organizers to decide if the main course is in good enough shape for Albert and the other racers to do a practice run Thursday.

This is the first time in 60 years the event is happening outside Europe. As a fan of the sport, Lyons knows how much exposure it will bring to Louisville. "It's going to be broadcast live on YouTube so all of Europe will be watching."

He's helping to make a good impression. Lyons spent Wednesday putting zip ties around course fences for the second time because the hills are now slick with mud and water. "A lot of times the guys will shoulder the bike and they grab anything they can that hillside. They'll grab hold of this (fence) and pull themselves up." The last thing he wants is the fence coming down with the riders.

Considering what the storms could have done, a delay, some extra water and securing fences is minor. "I think the good Lord was smiling on us," said Schmitt.

Now it's just a matter of waiting to see who can overcome all the elements to win the big race.

The Masters competition goes through Friday. The women race Saturday and the men race Sunday. There are still tickets available. Go to www.louisville2013.com to get yours.

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