By Christopher Borro
The Cyclo-Cross World Cup will dazzle local denizens for the third-consecutive year.
The Switzerland-based Union Cycliste Internationale announced on Feb. 2 that the 2018-19 Cyclo-Cross World Cup will be held at the Johnson County Fairgrounds from Sept. 28-30. It will be paired with Jingle Cross, a local cyclo-cross festival in its 15th year.
The cyclist union is the global governing body of all professional biking events, including Jingle Cross, the Tour de France, and Olympic cycling.
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Cyclo-cross differs from regular cycling tournaments because of the variety of obstacles participants have to contend with. Courses often include steep hills, sand, mud, and other hindrances that require cyclists to quickly dismount and carry their bikes back to the paved pathways of the course.
Cyclists will climb the infamous hill at the Johnson County Fairgrounds, known as “Mt. Krumpit,” three times per lap.
Cyclo-cross courses are also usually around two miles long. The champion is often determined by the person who has reached the most distance at the end of a time limit, as compared to simply cycling a certain number of laps. There are races in both the men’s and women’s categories.
The sport is popular in European countries such as the Netherlands and Belgium. Individuals from these two countries have combined for seven of the last nine women’s World Cup victories and eight-straight men’s victories.
The Iowa City event will constitute the second leg of the 2018-19 World Cup, with the first in Waterloo, Wisconsin. Besides the men’s and women’s World Cups, the Iowa City leg will also host four additional professional cyclo-cross races, 65 amateur races, and an obstacle courses for children and dogs.
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There will be a plenty of bands, vendors, and activities for the crowds to partake in. All proceeds from the event will go to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.