The City of Fayetteville announced that Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) selected Fayetteville to host the 2022 Cyclo-Cross World Championships.
The announcement came February, 1, in Bogense, Denmark, site of the 2019 Cyclo-Cross World Championships, after ratification by the UCI Management Committee.
This is the second time the race will be hosted in the United States; the first time was in Louisville, KY during 2013.
“The City is thrilled to welcome the UCI Cyclo-Cross World Championships to Fayetteville in 2022,” Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan said.
“When we acquired the acreage for Centennial Park at Millsaps Mountain, our vision was to develop a new trail system to serve national and regional cyclists as well as to preserve lands for hikers and trail runners,” Jordan said.
“This event is proof certain that we can continue to dream big for our future. We are always happy to roll out Fayetteville’s hospitality red carpet and share the unique attributes of our beautiful city with visitors from across the world,” Jordan said.
The site for the event has yet to be developed, but plans for the park include state-of-the-art cyclo-cross and mountain biking facilities that will connect to Fayetteville’s existing 45 miles of shared-used paved trails and 38 miles of natural surface trails, according to Fayetteville Communications Director Susan Norton.
The City of Fayetteville purchased the 228-acre property on Millsaps Mountain, northwest of Highway 62 and I-49 from Centennial Bank in 2018 with a 50-percent matching grant from the Walton Family Foundation, Norton said.
The park parcel is located within three miles of 620-acre Kessler Mountain Regional Park, home to more than 13 miles of hiking and biking trails and numerous athletic fields with additional phases to come, according to Norton.
BikeNWA, a Northwest Arkansas-based nonprofit that fosters a thriving cycling culture in the Northwest Arkansas region, will lead a coalition of community partners in organizing the World Championships, Norton said.
That plan includes continuing the support and growth of the local cyclocross scene through infrastructure development and education, as well as bringing multiple national-level cyclo-cross events to Northwest Arkansas leading up to the World Championships event January 29 – 30, 2022, according to Norton.
The World Championship weekend will be part of a multi-day festival for both new fans and die-hard cyclo-cross aficionados. The race will be the pinnacle of a weekend filled with activities and events that showcase all that Northwest Arkansas has to offer, said Norton.
Champions will be crowned in six categories during the two days of racing:
- Elite Men
- Elite Women
- Under-23 Men
- Under-23 Women
- Junior Men
- Junior Women
Competitors from approximately 30 nations will be racing while spectators are expected to travel from across the globe.
For more information, click www.fayetteville-ar.gov.