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Fayetteville Hosting Pan-American Cyclocross Championships


Fayetteville has been selected to host the 2020 Pan-American Cyclocross Championships, officials recently announced. The two-day event will be held Nov. 7-8 at Centennial Park at Millsap Mountain as part of the annual FayetteCross races.

The selection was made by the Pan-American Cycling Confederation, which encompasses 43 nations across the world. The championships offer titles for elite racers and masters athletes (35 years and older), who will compete for the coveted Pan-Am Champion jersey that is awarded to winners in each category.

The Advertising and Promotion Commission, which oversees Experience Fayetteville, last year received a $2.3 million grant from the Walton Family Foundation to help support several cyclocross events in Fayetteville, including the 2022 world championships, which will also be held at Centennial Park. It will be just the second time the United States has ever hosted the world championships, which was first held in 1950 in Paris, France.

The commission set aside $350,000 of the grant money to hire Parkven Productions to serve as race director and organizer of the events. Parkven is led by longtime cyclocross race director Brook Watts, who was the owner of CrossVegas, which began in 2007 and grew into one of the biggest international cyclocross events during its 11-year run in Las Vegas. CrossVegas eventually became the first UCI World Cup ever held in the United States.

“Continental championships are exciting and the pinnacle of midseason racing,” said Watts. “We’re thrilled to be able to host this important weekend of racing and showcase this very special, bike-friendly region.”

The pro men race in the mud at FayetteCross on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019. Photo by Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer

» See more FayetteCross 2019 photos

Experience Fayetteville CEO Molly Rawn said the confederation’s selection of Fayetteville for the Pan-Ams confirms the preeminent position of Fayetteville and the region as a cycling center.

“We’re uniquely suited to host events of this scale, and the Pan-Ams will be a great way for both visitors and residents to get excited for the 2022 World Championships,” said Rawn.

Millsap Mountain has been the site of two-day cyclocross events since 2018. Now called Centennial Park, the mountaintop is the site of a planned 228-acre cycling park that features state-of-the-art cyclocross facilities, as well as mountain bike and trail running infrastructure.

Watts said FayetteCross 2020 will offer more than just the Pan-Am Championships. In addition to the amateur and elite racing titles, the event will also include food and beverages, activities for kids, and two relay races in which co-ed teams of five racers can compete.

“It’s a great way to gather your friends or training buddies and see how you match up against others,” said Watts. “And, racers for the Pan-Am categories on Sunday now have a way to preview the course under race conditions on Saturday.”

More information is available at FayetteCross.com.

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Dustin Bartholomew is the co-founder of Fayetteville Flyer, an online publication covering all things news, art and life in Fayetteville, Arkansas since 2007. A graduate of the Department of English at the University of Arkansas and a lifelong resident of the area, he still lives in east Fayetteville with his son Hudson, daughter Evelyn, his wife Brandy, and his two dogs Lily and Steve. On occasion, he tickles the ivories in a local band called The Good Fear.

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