On Thursday, His Royal Highness Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg visited the route which has been created especially for the 2017 Cyclocross World Championship.
The event, which is taking place today and tomorrow in Parc Belval in Bieles, a small town in the Grand Duchy, will feature five events, including men and women’s elites, as well as men and women under 23 races and a men’s junior race. The UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) Cyclocross World Championship, which was first held in Paris in 1950, is no stranger to the Grand Duchy. The event has been held in Luxembourg five times between 1951 to the present day.
Cyclo-cross is a form of cycling in a which a cyclist is confronted with a terrain featuring concrete pavement, wooded trails, grass and steep hills. The majority of these obstacles result in the cyclists having to dismount their bicycle in order to carry it for portions of the race. Each race usually lasts between a half hour and an hour, depending on the route being used.
Accompanying the Grand Duke on his visit were UCI President Brian Cookson, the Cyclocross World Championship Director Eric Leyder and the Mayor of Sassenheim, Georges Engel. Whilst inspecting the route for the competition, the Grand Duke also met some of the Luxembourgish cyclists who will be taking part in the Championship over the next two days.
The Grand Ducal Family have a strong relationship with cycling in general, with His Royal Highness Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume being the patron of La Fédération du Sport cycliste Luxembourgeois and the sport being cited as a favourite of his younger brother, Prince Louis of Luxembourg. The current Grand Duke’s father, former Grand Duke Jean is also a big fan of the sport, attending the Tour de Luxembourg most years, occasionally accompanied by other members of the Grand Ducal Family.