BOULDER, Colo. (VN) — CrossVegas is set to open the international cyclocross season in 2011 and the Las Vegas event will be the launch pad for a new series of four night races. The fifth edition of the UCI C1 race will take place September 14 during the Interbike tradeshow.
Promoter Brook Watts said in a release Thursday that he has received more interest than ever from international riders in the season’s first marquee ‘cross event. “I was besieged by requests from European pros at the world championships,” said Watts. “All of the riders want to see what CrossVegas is all about, what the U.S. ‘cross scene is like and of course experience the entertainment capitol of the world — Las Vegas.”
France’s Francis Mourey, fourth at the world championships in January, pipped defending champ Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) at the line to win the men’s race in 2010. Worlds bronze medalist Katerina Nash led a Luna assault to win over teammate Amy Dombroski in the women’s contest.
New for 2011 will be equal prize money for the top five men’s and women’s finishers. CrossVegas is the latest among a number of U.S. events offering equal payouts for top women. National champion Katie Compton has championed the movement in recent years.
Another development is the kickoff of the Cross After Dark series, a series of UCI races run under the lights. Series events for 2011 are CrossVegas, Starcrossed in Redmond, Washington, the Gateway Cross Cup in St. Louis, Missouri and Spooky Cross in Los Angeles, California. Watts spearheaded the new series after the UCI banned the North American Cyclocross Trophy, which he directed last season, for 2011.
Cross After Dark series 2011 events
CrossVegas September 14 Las Vegas, Nev.
Starcrossed September 17 Redmond, Wash.
Gateway Cross Cup September 21 St. Louis, Mo.
Spooky Cross October 15 Los Angeles, Calif.