Valkenburg 2018: Elite level cyclo-cross inspiring everyday cycling
With the 2018 UCI Cyclo-Cross World Championships rapidly approaching, there is growing excitement in the host city, Valkenburg, situated at the heart of one of the key Dutch cycling regions, Limburg.
Awarded UCI Bike Region status in 2016, Limburg-Valkenburg locals say ‘cycling runs in our veins’. On 3 & 4 February, cyclo-cross riders from across the world will gather in Valkenburg for what is set to be a thrilling Championships.
But for the province and Championship organisation, the event isn’t only about elite level racing – it’s an opportunity to promote participation in cyclo-cross among adults and young people alike, while encouraging the use of bikes for transport and recreation.
As such, a series of actions are being planned around the Championships. These include:
- Limburg Cross Competition: From October 2017 to January 2018, 17 cyclo-cross races have been held across the province, with the final ride held two weeks before the Worlds. Between 200 and 300 people have participated in each ride. To get a taste, check out this video.
- ‘Let’s Go Off-road’: A programme of cycling clinics held at 20 primary schools in Limburg. This has helped inspire children to take up cycling, while teaching them essential riding skills.
- WC Cyclo-cross Clinics: For adults, beginner off-road cyclists were targeted with two clinics being held, followed by participation in an official recreational race. For youth riders, three clinics have been held on the UCI World Championship course in Valkenburg, and the participants will also have a chance to watch the elite athletes’ pre-race training session.
- WC Cyclo-cross Experience: Separate clinics have been organised on the WC course for both adults and young people, with participants receiving special Valkenburg World Championship jerseys. The youth session was held on January 19th, and the adults’ session, which will be led by two former UCI Cyclo-Cross World Champions, is scheduled for Saturday, 27 January.
- Ahead of the Worlds, a unique theatre show, De Muur – On Tour, WC CX Edition, will be staged on 2 February with the participation of some former UCI World Champions.
There is the hope that the spectacle of Elite cyclo-cross racing can inspire the community and region to cycle more for transport, leisure and sport. These activities fit into a wider long-term strategy to promote cycle use, with the region working to increase the share of trips by bike from 2016’s 22% to 27% in 2022. Indeed, the Worlds aren’t just an opportunity to put on a show of elite level cyclo-cross racing in a beautiful setting, but an opportunity to inspire more cycling in all forms!
More information about the various activities can be found on: www.limburg2018.com