Last weekend the United States hosted the UCI Cyclocross World Championships in Louisville, Kentucky. It was the first time in its 64-year history that the event has ever taken place in North America. And while the Belgians didn't dominate quite as fully as they did in 2012 on their home soil in Koksijde, where they swept the first seven spots in the elite men's event, the country still emerged with racers on the first two steps of the men’s elite podium.
It was an especially poignant and rewarding race for 36-year-old victor Sven Nys, who hasn't taken home gold since 2005 and nearly retired after the 2012 season. After beating compatriot Klaas Vantournout by just two seconds, Nys was emotional and clearly glad to have stuck around for one last season. On the women's side, Dutch racer Marianne Vos scored her fifth consecutive cyclocross world championship title, while American Katie Compton fought back from a poor start to take the silver, the best finish of any American at the event.
With unexpected snow, bitter cold, and plenty of mud, the event was more difficult and authentic than anyone could have expected. For those who didn’t make it, this Gizmo Pictures recap (embedded above) does a great job of capturing the emotion and excitement.