The UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup could be heading back to Great Britain with plans unveiled to bring a round to London, potentially paving the way for the city to host the World Championships in the discipline.
The website Cyclocross Rider reports that Simon Burney, who was behind the successful bid to host a round of the World Cup to Milton Keynes in 2014, and writer Paul Maunder are hopeful of bringing it to the Lee Valley VeloPark.
The start and finish of races would be held on the road circuit there, which replaced the former Eastway circuit, itself a past cyclo-cross venue that disappeared due to the building of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford.
— Paul Maunder (@PMaunderpaul) July 6, 2017
Maunder, whose book Rainbows in the Mud will be published by Bloomsbury Sport next month, told the website: "British cyclo-cross is booming and we have a new generation of exciting 'cross racers, led by [Junior] World Champion Tom Pidcock.
“Britain needs a high level event to act as a focal point for the British 'cross community.
"It's early days, but the response from key partners has been overwhelmingly positive.
He added: “We hope that our event, Cross London, will inspire the next generation of racers and reinforce the UK's commitment to cyclo-cross."
Initial plans are to bid to host the World Cup in London for three years commencing with the 2018/19 season, followed by a pitch for the World Championships, which have been hosted three times in the UK – in London in 1973, Birmingham in 1983 and Leeds in 1992.
Next year’s Worlds will be hosted in Valkenburg in the Netherlands, while the 2019 edition will take place in Bogense, Denmark.
This year’s World Championship in Luxembourg saw Great Britain achieve a clean sweep of the podium at the men’s junior race, with Pidcock winning, Dan Tulett second and Ben Turner third.
Evie Richards, meanwhile, took third in the women’s under-23 race.
She won the same event 12 months previously, but her achievement was overshadowed by the discovery, at the same race, of a motor hidden in the bike of Belgian rider Femke van den Driessche.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.