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Monday, December 9 2013 9:54 AM EST2013-12-09 14:54:27 GMT
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Louisville, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville is hosting the Cyclo-cross World Championships this week. But the city's financial gain will mean delays for commuters getting into and out of downtown.
River Road is closed between Frankfort Avenue and Edith Road. It won't reopen until Tuesday, February 5th.
But the bike race is a big deal for Louisville and the United States. This is the first time in the 63 year history that the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships have been held outside of Europe.
Eva Bandman Park on River Road has been transformed into an obstacle course for the event. Many Americans aren't familiar with cyclo-cross, but it is wildly popular in Europe where spectators dress up and host big parties to cheer on the athletes.
Cyclo-cross is a form of bicycle racing that began in Europe, when cyclists took to the trails in the winter to train. Competitors go through pavement, sand, grass, steep hills and around man-made obstacles, and many times the rider has to get off the bike and carry it while navigating.
The world championships will feature 300 riders from about 25 countries and are expected to draw crowds of around 5,000 spectators per day, which will be broadcast to millions in Europe. The event will also bring more than $3 million in economic impact to the area.
The 2013 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships will be held at Eva Bandman on Saturday and Sunday with two races each day. The nearly 60-acre park gives the competitors scenic views of downtown Louisville and the Ohio River.
All businesses along River Road will remain open during the road closing and the event. For detailed maps that show parking, closures and the road course, CLICK HERE.