For the second year in a row, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Management Committee has selected Fayetteville, Arkansas to host a cyclo-cross World Cup event as part of the 2022-2023 UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup schedule.
First-rate cyclo-cross racing returns to Fayetteville on Sunday, October 16, 2022 as part of OZCX! As hosts for a second time, Fayetteville will hold the World Cup event at the 228-acre Centennial Park, the home of the 2022 Walmart UCI Cyclo-Cross World Championships that took place in January and drew an estimated total crowd of 14,000 people. The upcoming Cyclo-Cross World Cup event at Centennial Park makes the fourth UCI-sanctioned world-class event slated to take place in Fayetteville in 2022, after the World Championships, the Walmart Joe Martin Stage Race, and the inaugural Highlands Gravel Classic.
In 2021, Fayetteville was anointed as the first “UCI Bike City” in the United States, with races and crowds continuing to grow in size and spectacle accordingly. This year’s event in Fayetteville is scheduled as one of only two cyclo-cross World Cup competitions in the United States in 2022, along with Waterloo, Wisconsin. Fayetteville held onto their spot in the schedule despite the UCI dropping from 16 cup events to 14 for 2022-2023. Iowa City, host of the World Cup race for the past five years, was knocked off the UCI World Cup schedule.
A UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup was last held in October 2021 when three categories of cyclo-cross races across a single day brought athletes from 13 countries to Fayetteville. Despite being held on a Wednesday, rather than the more standard Sunday raceday, the event drew in more than 3,000 spectators. Even more impressive, those spectators cheered on athletes during a two-day stretch of rainy conditions in Fayetteville, which left them and the riders completely soaked and drenched in mud. As it goes in cyclo-cross racing, this year’s event will also be held rain or shine, as any chance for weather only adds to the unpredictability of the contest!
One of the fastest growing disciplines in cycling, cyclo-cross shares similarities with mountain bike racing, cross-country cycling, and criterium racing. Cyclo-cross courses are twisty, hilly, wet, muddy, and full of obstacles that require riders to dismount and carry their bikes at times. With relatively short courses, it gives spectators a front row view of all the action. If you’re a stranger to the sport of cyclo-cross and want to learn more, read all about cyclo-cross for newcomers. Cyclo-cross is perhaps the most thrilling form of racing around, and you’ve got the chance to see it right here in Northwest Arkansas at Centennial Park in Fayetteville!
Be sure to save the date so you can catch all the action on Sunday, October 16, 2022! Expect complete event details to be released later this year. We’ll see you at Centennial Park when the wild world of international cyclo-cross and World Cup racing comes to Fayetteville - yet again!