Next stop Milton Keynes – First Cyclo-Cross World Cup for Britain to be held November 29 – the real work starts now says Burney
By Gordon Wiseman
The Management Board of the UCI met in Hoogerheide in the Netherlands yesterday ahead of the Junior and Womenâ€™s cyclo-cross World Championships and ratified the programme for the 2014/15 World Cup season.
In doing so, they confirmed that a round of the series will be held in Milton Keynes â€“ the first time a World Cup race has been held outside of mainland Europe. The World Cup race is scheduled for Saturday 29 November and on the following day itâ€™s expected that a round of the National Trophy series will be held on the very same Campbell Park based course, â€œA bit of a first I reckonâ€ Simon Burney told VeloUK shortly after the announcement.
Representatives from the UCI visited the city in December last year (as reported by veloUK on 16 and 21 January) and at the time Burney â€“ who helped put the bid together with long-time friend and the MK Council cycling development officer Richard Duffill – was very confident that the vote of the Management Board would go the way of the British round.
Ian Field (Hargroves Cycles), a regular at the cyclo-cross events will get to race a home World Cup.
But he said at the time that no matter how confident he might be, until the voting was finished you could never 100% certain.
So how was he feeling now the decision to go ahead with the British race had been confirmed? â€œThe British racing scene can only benefit from a decision like this. The country has certainly taken to cycling much more recently but having another major international event take place in the UK can only be a good thingâ€.
Although he hadnâ€™t had a chance to speak to any of the top European riders who were gathered at Hoogerheide since the announcement was made, heâ€™d been telling the Team GB riders about the bid when he travelled with them to the Netherlands earlier in the week.
Not long now before the World’s best women, including those from Britain, will be on the start line of a World Cup cross race in Britain.
â€œAnd they were very excited at the prospectâ€ he enthused. â€œIt can only be a good thing for the younger riders to be able to watch top Elite riders competing on a British course and then having the chance to ride the same circuit the very next day.
â€œAlthough I havenâ€™t spoken to any of the top riders yet, Iâ€™ve had calls from some fan clubs for the top Belgian pros and they are very excited about coming over the Britain so we can expect busloads of those spectators. Thatâ€™ll be greatâ€.
â€œThis will be the very first time weâ€™ve had an Elite cyclo-cross meet in the UK for both men and women. And I know the British cyclo-cross scene is ready for this. Itâ€™ll also tap into the expanding British audience and given them the taste of another side of cycling. Theyâ€™re already starting to love the Tour and the track; thisâ€™ll be something completely new to most of that audience. And cyclo-cross will be that â€˜somethingâ€™ thatâ€™ll really appeal to their imaginationâ€.
After her amazing bronze medal ride in the World Championships, Helen Wyman gave her reaction to veloUK to the news that a round of the World Cup is coming to the UK:Â â€œItâ€™s brilliant news for sport in the UK and itâ€™s brilliant news for British cyclo-cross. Loads of people watch and compete in cyclo-cross in Britain and for spectators itâ€™s easy to watch, fun and a great family day out.”
Bronze medallist Helen Wyman .. looking forward now to a World Cup not far from her birthplace (St Albans)
â€œWeâ€™re the top female nation in cyclo-cross and so for us to be competing on our home soil will be a great experience. Iâ€™m sure weâ€™ll be able to fill the full complement of six riders. But itâ€™ll also enable us to show case our talent in the juniors, U23 and Elite races as wellâ€.
And of her bronze medal? â€œItâ€™s the best I could have hoped for with Marianne (Vos) and Katie (Compton) being in such great form so Iâ€™m really very, very pleased with my resultâ€.
But for Simon Burney, heâ€™s very aware that the work to be done is only just beginning; â€œThe list of jobs to do is enormous but at the very top is to start finalising some sponsorship proposals. Richard has started putting things together but we need to cover as much of the costs ourselves. So its sponsorship and TV coverage thatâ€™s got to be at the top of our list.”
â€œRichard is putting together the basic organisation and heâ€™s already got some great support from the MK Council. And weâ€™ve got to nail down the course as, following the visit of the delegation, thereâ€™s some minor changes to be made.
â€œOne things for sure though, the real work starts here. Itâ€™s going to be a very busy summer!â€
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