For an obscure sport, it has a huge international following.
So it was a big deal a year ago when it was announced the 2013 Cyclocross World Championships would be coming to Louisville along with two other big races.
A big deal in that thousands of competitors and fans would be coming from around the world, a godsend for hotels and restaurants.
Eva Bandman Park on River Road near downtown was reworked as a permanent cyclocross track.
Now, a number of European publications are reporting the events may be in jeopardy, with the Belgian newspaper Gazet van Antwerpen and Cyclocross Magazine are reporting organizers are having financial trouble, claims local organizers deny.
Gazet van Antwerpen report Simon Lamon wrote:
So far, the World Championships organizers have only secured institutional partners such as the city of Louisville, the state of Kentucky and the local sports committee. So, not one commercial company is signed on yet. Can Louisville get it all in place on time? If not, they stand to lose the right to hold the event. In the meanwhile, speculations of a possible replacement are already underway. Luxembourg city, who has applied for the rights to hold a World Championship the last few years appears to the the front-running replacement at the moment – if that becomes necessary.
Apparently, organizers came to Louisville recently and found lacking the Eva Bandman facility. But there also seems to be a little maneuvering here by those conniving Luxeumbourgeois.
Bruce Fina, the promoter for the Louisville World Championships, told Cyclocross Magazine that U.S. organizers do have multiple big sponsors and are waiting for television contracts..
As far as the course goes, work is under way at Eva Bandma, Fina said:
We will be organizing at least three big events on the course there before Worlds 2013 so I see no issue with the course at all. I think the Belgians might have been disappointed that there were no stakes in the ground when they visited town. But the park is meant to be multipurpose so there was really no need to set up a course for a visit between races. That said they were very pleased with the USGP course in Madison and feel comfortable that we can make a great ’cross course for Worlds with the features available in Louisville.
We’re looking forward to this event, which will be the first ever in the United States. And a chance for the U.S. to dominate yet another world sport.