No need to travel far to see the world: Just go to Louisville!


By Andrea W. Doray
Joan Hanscom talks about the preparation work for the 2013 events.
Joan Hanscom talks about the preparation work for the 2013 events.
With cyclo-cross season already in full swing, USA Cycling talked with Joan Hanscom, event director for the 2013 UCI Masters Cyclo-cross World Championships and the 2013 UCI Elite World Championships coming to Louisville, Kentucky, in January and February.
Hanscom was also event director for this year’s UCI Masters Cyclo-cross World Championships, also in Louisville, and she shared her secrets with us for the success of 2012 and the preparation for 2013.
USA Cycling: Joan, what’s your overall take on the 2012 Masters ’Cross World Championships?
Joan Hanscom: It was great! It went really well, especially because the weather handed us some serious challenges.
USAC: Weather challenges? In Louisville?
JH: (Laughing) Yes, we had our best weather — 60 degrees — on set-up day. By race day on Thursday, the temperature had dropped 40 degrees and we were getting two inches of rain an hour.
USAC: Sure sounds like a ’cross race…
JH: Right — we even had tornado warnings! On Friday, we had a snowstorm and a course full of frozen ruts. By Saturday and Sunday, we were back to seasonal Kentucky weather — cool and crisp.
USAC: How did you deal with these weather challenges?
JH: With a lot of help from our partners, Louisville Metro Parks. We experienced virtually every weather condition and had to adjust the course on the fly. They were right there with us, dragging the course with a big tractor to smooth out the frozen ruts, and taking care of drainage issues when the course was really wet.
USAC: Did you have other partners?
JH: The Louisville Sports Commission and USA Cycling. The Sports Commission helped us pull permits and provided support throughout the community. They “get” cycling and the tremendous impact of these world championship events. USA Cycling provides hands-on management. For 2013, USA Cycling will assist in managing the Masters, providing personnel and race infrastructure, and helping to support the Elite event. With our local partners — the Louisville Sports Commission and Louisville Metro Parks — it’s a great coalition.
USAC: What role does the UCI have?
JH: The World Championships are UCI property and they bring a ton of assets. Their press director is already in place, and they have a group on the ground getting ready. They’ll also run the credentialing, which, of course, is an important part of hosting these events.
USAC: What else are you doing to prepare for 2013?
JH: We are definitely building on the success of 2012, although the Elite event is a whole different animal. We’ll need a separate media center and an international TV compound, a VIP hospitality set up, and additional spectator support because these are ticketed events. It’s another level of production.
USAC: What about volunteers?
JH: We are super-dependent on our volunteers! We will have some paid staff, but we’ll need volunteers on the course every day. And, of course, we’ll need volunteers in a bigger way for two high-level ’cross races.
USAC: How big do you expect the 2013 events to be?
JH: The Masters event will be the biggest — we had more than 500 racers this year and we expect this number to grow for 2013. We had participants from 12 nations, with the majority coming from Canada, Great Britain, Belgium, France, Italy, and, of course, the U.S. We’ll know more about both events when the registrations start coming in November.
USAC: Any surprises from 2012?
JH: (Laughs again) The only surprise would have been for the weather to be perfect! We’ve put on so many ’cross races at this point that we were ready for anything on the fly, with the help of our partners.
USAC: What can spectators expect in January?
JH: The start of the ’cross course at Eva Bandman Park is about 3.5 kilometers from the host hotel. There’s a nice bike and pedestrian path that goes from the hotel right to the venue for both spectators and participants. Everything they might need is close by. We’re also able to base our entire operations for the Masters and the Elite events in the one hotel.
USAC: What else should we know?
JH: Registration opens November 1, and tickets are on sale now. Riders in the Masters events don’t need to qualify — anyone with a UCI Masters license can participate. These licenses will be available starting December 1. Just remember that you are not eligible to race in the Masters events if you already have UCI points, though.
USAC: Any final thoughts?
JH: You don’t have to travel far to see the world…this is an opportunity to watch the best of the best on a world-class track, right here on home soil.
Note: Tickets are now on sale for the 2013 UCI World Elite Cyclo-cross Championships powered by Exergy, which will be held on Feb. 2-3, 2013, at Eva Bandman Park. Single-day general admission tickets are $25; two-day general admission tickets are $40. Children under the age of 10 attend at no cost. Tickets can be purchased online at
In addition to general admission tickets, single-day VIP tickets and VIP tables are available starting at $125. For more information about the 2013 UCI Elite Cyclo-cross World Championships, contact Lyne Lamoureux, press officer via e-mail at
Special thanks to Joan Hanscom for her time and insight! You can also follow Joan on Twitter @Joanhan and @Louisville2013.
About the author: Andrea Doray is a writing rider/riding writer for USA Cycling from the Denver area who only gets “cross” with her own bike when she has to push it! Contact her at

This Article Updated November 2, 2012 @ 11:02 AM For more information contact: