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Iowa City's Jingle Cross named best World Cup race

Venue will host third international cycling competition in September

Competitors in the men’s Telenet UCI Cyclocross World Cup race climb Mount Krumpit on Sept. 17 during Jingle Cross at the Johnson County Fairgrounds in Iowa City. The event has been voted the top event of the nine World Cup competitions hosted around the globe in 2017. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
Competitors in the men’s Telenet UCI Cyclocross World Cup race climb Mount Krumpit on Sept. 17 during Jingle Cross at the Johnson County Fairgrounds in Iowa City. The event has been voted the top event of the nine World Cup competitions hosted around the globe in 2017. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — In just its second year of hosting the Cyclocross UCI World Cup, Iowa City’s Jingle Cross was named the top event of the 2017-18 racing season.

Iowa City hosted the Union Cycliste Internationale, or UCI World Cup, last September as part of the Jingle Cross race weekend.

The Iowa City race was part of a series of nine World Cup competitions hosted around the globe.

“It is an incredible honor for Jingle Cross to be named the best cyclocross UCI World Cup,” John Meehan, promoter and race director, said in a statement released by Think Iowa City, the tourism bureau for the area.

He credited volunteers, race staff, sponsors and residents for helping the 15-year old Jingle Cross “to grow into one of the premier cycling events in the world.”

The award was voted on by teams, riders, media, sponsors and cycling’s international governing body, UCI, according to a news release.

Iowa City is hosting the World Cup for the third consecutive time in the next racing season, as part of the Jingle Cross weekend, Sept. 28 to 30, at the Johnson County Fairgrounds.

Men’s and women’s World Cup races will occur on Saturday, Sept. 29, while dozens of amateur and professional cyclocross races take place on the other two days.

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The course is known for its diverse terrain, such as dirt, gravel and sand, obstacles, a flyover and a daunting hill dubbed Mount Krumpit.

About 15,000 people a year attend Jingle Cross weekend since the World Cup was added, said Josh Schamberger, an event organizer and president of the tourism bureau.

Proceeds benefit the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

“It’s a recipe that’s been demonstrated pretty successfully over the past couple years,” Schamberger said. “The Europeans have fallen in love with Iowa.”

Iowa City Manager Geoff Fruin said in a statement the event “embodies the high energy, fun and supporting culture of Iowa City.” and the city looks to forward “to continuing to raise the bar for the sport with each future Jingle Cross that we host.”

l Comments: (319) 398-8310; brian.morelli@thegazette.com

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