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CX: Montreal World Cup Cancelled

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Yes I'm writing about CX in the summer.

David Stockman AFP

When the 2015-16 cyclo-cross calendar was announced, two new World Cup events were on the schedule. CrossVegas, an established race with prestigious winners such as Lars van der Haar and Sven Nys was to be first, on the 16th of September, and was to be followed three days later by a new event in Montreal.

Montreal CX Logo

However, the new event was yesterday cancelled by the organisers due to a lack of cash. Gestev, the organisers of the event sent out a press release, which you can find here, saying that they had to "postpone [note the use of that word] the event." Patrice Drouin, the president of Gestev says that "without sufficient time, we couldn't bring together all the right partners needed to deliver the event that is up to the standards of a UCI World Cup. Taking into account the financial risk caused by this lack of time in coming with optimal conditions to hold a successful event, the committee has proposed to Cycling Canada and Union Cycliste Internationale to defer it to a later date. Even though all current partners that were approached were fully collaborating, time was not on our side." Cycling Canada go on to say that "Despite final efforts to secure the significant government funding necessary to host a high-level World Cup event, this has not been received in time to comfortably proceed."

So we see, no money, no sponsors and the government screwing the thing over have stopped the running of a big new event, and also put a lot of pressure on CrossVegas, making it cyclocross' only big international cyclo-cross race next year. Also, will all the teams bother making the trek? They would hop across the Atlantic for two out of eight races, but missing one out of seven is a little less of a big deal. People prioritising the world cup events will go, yes, but will people expecting no more than 14th go for one race? It's rather expensive, and cyclo-cross isn't rich. The only positive thing is that it will relieve the burden of the long trek between Las Vegas and Montreal in three days for the American riders. Maybe it'll be back in 2016, and that seems to be the aims of the organisers, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Very few are happy, needless to say, that the world cup calendar has been shrunk. Wout Van Aert, Jeremy Powers, Sven Nys and Jonathan Page registered their annoyance on twitter, saying that it was "a bad thing for cyclocross" and "a step backward."

Will it be replaced? Well, it's difficult to say, but I think it unlikely. A city in Brabant in the Netherlands, s'Hertogenbosch, the home of one Marianne Vos has made a claim to host it on October 10th, with the Grand Prix of Brabant, but it sort of seems counterintuitive. The idea of making Montreal a World Cup race was to globalise the sport, and to make a race in the Netherlands a world cup doesn't seem to fit with that. Another option would be to make another established American race a world cup, but none of them seem to be asking at the minute. What it does say is that it's not always a good idea to start new races and make them world cups. I thought I'd never say this, but if everything could be more like Milton Keynes, that would be nice.