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2016-2017 UCI Cyclocross World Cup: All You Need to Know

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photo credits @ UCI

Presentation of the rounds

CrossVegas
After its spectacular debut in 2015 with 12,000 spectators CrossVegas is back with a modified course to kick off the 2016-2017 Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup. The night-time race at the artificially lit Desert Breeze Park near the famous Strip in Las Vegas is the first of two US events in the series. It will feature races in the Men Elite and Women Elite categories. The 2015 edition of CrossVegas was voted best event of the 2015-2016 UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup. The international peloton will no doubt be extremely motivated for this first major challenge of the series, t which is the most important cyclo-cross race outside of Europe.

Jingle Cross Iowa City
Three days after CrossVegas the best cyclo-cross riders in the world will battle each other at the Jingle Cross Iowa City. Traditionally linked to the Christmas holiday period, this race was moved to September to create the largest cyclo-cross festival ever held in North America. Riders in the Men Elite and Women Elite categories will race for victory on a tough course at the Johnson County Fairgrounds in Iowa City. Expect the steep climb up Mount Krumpit and the Holly Jolly Hell Hole swamp mud pit to be key deciding obstacles on Saturday at the Jingle Cross Iowa City.

Valkenburg Provincie Limburg
The Dutch venue at the famous Cauberg hill will host a Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup round for the fourth time in the series’ history. The Cauberg climb became known through road cycling: it has been a decisive obstacle in several UCI World Championships and of course is the finishing climb in the Amstel Gold Race. During previous UCI World Cup editions the riders have struggled on the treacherous off-camber descents and short climbs, making for a very exciting first European event for all categories (Men Elite, Women Elite, Men Under-23 and Men Junior) in October. This year’s competition – with a slightly modified course – will be a test event for the 2018 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships.

Koksijde
The coastal municipality of Koksijde traditionally hosts the first Belgian UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup round in November. The two major dunes on the course are named after Koksijde UCI Cyclo-cross World Champions Paul Herygers and Niels Albert. These long sand sections make the course very technical. If the weather is ass foul as last year, mud sections will make for even harder races (for Men Elite, Women Elite, Men Under-23 and Men Junior) along the North Sea on Sunday.

Zeven
Although the best cyclo-cross riders in the world hadn’t raced a UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup on German soil for 13 years, they return this year for a round of the series in Zeven. Together with Jingle Cross Iowa City, the German town Zeven makes its debut in the 2016-2017 UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup. While the city centre of Zeven will host an early Christmas market at the end of November there will be cyclo-cross races in the Men Elite, Women Elite, Men Under-23 and Men Junior categories in the ‘Hinter der Ahe’ forest on Saturday.

Namur
Halfway through December the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup returns to Namur, the capital of Wallonie, for the sixth time in UCI World Cup history. The steep and long climbs at the historical citadel near the Meuse river in the south of Belgium makes this World Cup round a goal for the climbers in the four race categories. Moreover, the tricky off-camber descents also require solid technical skills.

Heusden-Zolder
The third Belgian UCI World Cup round is hosted on Boxing Day at Circuit Zolder, the former F1 car racing circuit in Heusden-Zolder, in the eastern part of Belgium. Last year the site hosted the 2016 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships, with Wout Van Aert (Belgium) and Thalita de Jong (the Netherlands) taking the Elite victories. The site also features the fast Supercross track which was host to the 2015 UCI BMX World Championships. The last UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup round of 2016 will feature races in the four categories.

Fiuggi Regione Lazio
The UCI World Cup heads back to the Lazio region (Italy) in January 2017 after two years without an Italian stopover. The thermal town of Fiuggi lies in the beautiful green Frosinone province, just east of Rome. The penultimate UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup round will host races in the Men Elite, Women Elite, Men Under-23 and Men Junior categories at the Parco Termale dell’Anticolana of Fiuggi.

Hoogerheide Provincie Noord-Brabant
Tradition dictates that the Dutch village Hoogerheide hosts the final round of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup for Men Elite, Women Elite, Men Under-23 and Men Junior.. One week before the 2017 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Bieles, Luxembourg, the riders will test their legs one final time in the second Dutch round of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup. Last year bad weather turned the course into an extremely hard challenge with local hero Mathieu van der Poel emerging as the big mud-clad star.

Below are some of this year’s main contenders, and the highlights of their 2015-2016 UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup season.

Elite Men
Wout Van Aert (BEL)
1 x winner (CrossVegas)
5 x second (Valkenburg, Koksijde, Namur, Lignières-en-Berry, Hoogerheide)
Overall UCI World Cup winner

Mathieu van der Poel (NED)
4 x winner (Namur, Heusden-Zolder, Lignières-en-Berry, Hoogerheide)
1 x third (Koksijde)

Lars van der Haar (NED)
1 x winner (Valkenburg)
2 x third (Heusden-Zolder, Lignières-en-Berry)

Kevin Pauwels (BEL)
1 x second (Heusden-Zolder)
2 x third (Namur, Hoogerheide)

Michael Vanthourenhout (BEL)
1 x third (CrossVegas)
1 x sixth (Valkenburg)

Jeremy Powers (USA)
1 x sixth (CrossVegas)

Women
Sanne Cant (BEL)
3 x winner (Koksijde, Heusden-Zolder, Lignières-en-Berry)
1 x third (CrossVegas)
Overall UCI World Cup winner

Eva Lechner (ITA)
1 x winner (Valkenburg)
1 x second (CrossVegas)

Nikki Harris (GBR)
1 x winner (Namur)
1 x second (Koksijde)

Ellen Van Loy (BEL)
1 x second (Lignières-en-Berry)
1 x third (Heusden-Zolder)

Thalita de Jong (NED)
1 x second (Hoogerheide)
1 x fourth (Heusden-Zolder)

Katie Compton (USA)
1 x second (Heusden Zolder)
1 x third (Koksijde)
1 x fourth (Namur)

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2016-2017 UCI Teams

The riders are selected by their National Federations but usually wear their team’s (or club’s) jersey.

This year, the UCI World Cup leaders will wear a jersey with a new design. For the first time, the best ranked female rider aged 17-22 who participates in the Women Elite race will wear a UCI World Cup Women Under-23 leader’s jersey. Also new this season will be the award for the fastest lap in each race.

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World Cup partners

Title sponsor
Telenet
Cable broadband company Telenet is a leading provider of media and telecommunication services in Belgium, specialising in the provision of cable television, high-speed Internet and fixed and mobile telephone services The contract between Telenet and the UCI was signed in 2015. Telenet becomes title sponsor of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup from 2016-2017 through until the 2019-2020 season. Telenet and the UCI started a strategic partnership to cover the principal UCI cyclo-cross events. Telenet broadcasts all rounds of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup on all of its channels and provides a dedicated offer on its digital platforms. They invest a big part of their budget to make cyclo-cross more exciting to view on TV. Telenet also takes care of international TV production and provides images to all right-holders. Telenet is also sponsor of the Telenet Fidea Lions cyclo-cross team.

Official sponsor
Shimano
Over the last 90 years, Shimano has affirmed itself as the world’s leading manufacturer of bike components thanks to its innovations and the exceptional reliability of its products.

Official provider
APB
APB is a renowned company specialising in asbestos removal. It has offices in Belgium and in the Netherlands. APB is a big fan of cyclo-cross.

TV coverage

The 2016-2017 Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup will be broadcasted live on our YouTube Channel (geo-blocking applies). 

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