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Cyclocross is a form of bicycle racing that consists of many laps over a short (1.5-2 mile) course featuring pavement, wooded trails, grass, hills and obstacles requiring the rider to quickly dismount, carry the bike while navigating the obstruction and remount.
Cyclocross is most popular in Belgium, France and the Netherlands with significant participation in Germany, Czech Republic and surrounding areas. The sport became popular in the U.S. in the 1970s and is now the fastest-growing cycling discipline in North America.
Keith Kaiser got to hang out with the top US Cyclocross rider, Jeremy Powers, as he prepared for the weekend's events. Powers, a native of Niantic, Connecticut, had a breakthrough season in 2011/12 with 11 UCI wins, standing atop 18 UCI podiums and winning the U.S. Cyclocross National Championship.
VeloNews named Powers their 2011 North American Cyclocross Rider of the Year. Powers is a fan favorite because of his attacking style and impressive bicycle-handling skills but mostly because his Behind the Barriers web-documentaries.
The series gives a look at the life of a professional cyclocross athlete. Powers names Louisville as his favorite race course. He continued his winning ways this season (2012/2013) by dominating the US professional cycling scene which included winning both days of the USGP Derby City Cup in Louisville, Ky. He is the highest American male rider in the world, sitting in 11th place in the UCI cyclocross rankings.
On February 1-3, 2013, Louisville hosts the UCI World Elite Cyclocross Championships at Eva Bandman Park, the first time the 60-year-old event has been held outside of Europe.