In 1950 the first world Cyclocross event was held in Paris, France. The event which invited professional and amateurs highlighted the sport of cyclocross, which was essentially a variation on a bike race.
Since its inception the event has toured Europe inviting competitors of all nationalities, in 2013 though the cyclocross will leave the shores of Europe and arrive in the United States, specifically right here in the city of Louisville.
This comes after the sport has seen notable growth in the North American market in recent years. The event is set for Eva Bandman Park from January 29th through the 31st.
Currently in the history of the event, Belgium actually leads the medal count with a total of fifty-nine, getting the silver for medals: France with thirty-four and bronze goes to Switzerland who has a current total of thirty-one. The U.S. is tied for eighth with only one silver medal coming in 2007 and won by Jonathan Page; America is tied by the way with Denmark and Luxembourg.
Of course, these figures surprise nobody in the sporting community as the sport was begun and found its initial popularity in the Western Europe area. Because of that the sport has been off the radar of most Americans for some time now. Until recently, when U.S. sports fans and athletes have been trying to get involved with sports that aren’t necessarily “homegrown.”
What does it mean that one of the sport’s biggest events will be coming to the states and the Derby City at that, it’s difficult to say. However, there is a substantial honor that the bluegrass has for being the first American town to house the event.
Image courtesy of the Louisville Sports Commission