Cyclo-cross makes a new attempt to become an Olympic sport with figure skating in Val di Sole

Cyclocross took another step last weekend in its bid to one day be recognized as an Olympic sport. It did so by allowing the World Cup race in Val di Sol, Italy, to take place on a snowy surface, a requirement of the sport in the Winter Olympics programme. However, the chance of seeing cyclists competing for Olympic medals in the future is still very slim.

Although cyclocross is still very popular in Flanders, it is no secret that the sport can count on much less interest abroad. While the field of participants in youth competitions is often relatively international, interprofessional cyclocross is usually dominated by Flemish (and Dutch) cyclocross riders.

Winter Olympics

One of the main reasons for the lack of foreign interest is the fact that talented professional riders usually choose road racing or mountain biking. There is a lot of money to be made in the first discipline, while the second is an Olympic summer sport.

The cyclocross world is well aware that a place in the Winter Olympics program can ensure the internationalization of the sport. The big problem with this is that Olympic Charter Only snow or ice sports are allowed in the Winter Games, which of course is not always the case in cyclocross. Partly because of that, I faced the 2014 campaign to add cyclo-cross to the program for the 2018 Winter Olympics.”first yearFrom the International Olympic Committee.

Van Aert and Van Empel

But this year, the UCI and the rest of the cyclo-Cross world seem to have taken on new courage. To show what cyclo-Cross could look like at the Olympics in the future, World Cup organizer Flanders Classics decided to stage a race in Val di Sole, Italy. This site at 1,261 meters is usually used as a cross-country hub. To make sure the course was covered in snow, the organizers kept an ice cannon on hand. In the end, this turned out to be not necessary, since a few heavy snowfalls in recent weeks have resulted in a layer of snow about 40 cm high.

Wout van Aert and Fem Van Empel finally showed their strongest selves on the snowy track on Sunday. The organization had to deal with some significant cancellations. For example, coach Sven Nys and Baloise Trek Lions’ side, including Lars Van der Haar, Lucinda Brand and Thibau Nys, opted for a training camp rather than a move to Italy. The women’s competition also had to do without world cap Marianne Voss and Céline del Carmen Alvarado.

Thomas van den Spiegel, chief executive of Classics Flanders, has expressed his disappointment about it. “Very unlucky. This is the most innovative thing the sport of cyclocross has known in recent years. So we were hoping everyone would do their part” bike flash. According to Ness, his team’s cancellation has nothing to do with the snow. “We hold our training period every year on this date,” he said in response.

2030 Winter Olympics?

“There is an ongoing discussion within the International Olympic Committee (IOC) about the possibility of bringing cyclocross to the Olympics. This match is very important, but we should not think we are already there,” Thomas van den Spiegel told the site. InsideTheGames. “The race in Val di Sol is also an important test for us: we have a clear goal in mind, but there is still a long way to go.”

Fortunately, cyclo-cross still has some time to go down that road, as it could be added to the program for the Winter Olympics in 2030 at the earliest.

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