USA Cycling announced Wednesday that Boulder had won the bid to host the 2014 Cyclocross National Championships at the Valmont Bike Park.
The cycling organization named three finalists in their search for a host city for the event -- Boulder, Austin, Texas, and Asheville, N.C. -- and in the end, the cycling organization decided to award the event to all three in subsequent years: Boulder in January of 2014, Austin in 2015 and Asheville in 2016.
"Boulder already hosts really high-caliber events, so they were just a logical choice to host the first year," said USA Cycling spokeswoman Andrea Smith.
Smith said all three cities had strong bids to host the event, which should draw upwards of 1,400 racers from around the country to ride Valmont's trails and shoulder their bikes to run over barriers -- including the staircases built into the park just for this style of cycling.
"Boulder has really an international reputation as a cycling mecca," Smith said. "There's a huge, really strong supportive community in Boulder, and that's a huge component of our events."
A committee from USA Cycling visited all three potential host cities in January. Boulder's Valmont Bike Park was their final stop on the tour, and Smith said organizers "came back just raving about the course."
"A huge factor was the Valmont Bike Park, itself," Smith said. "It's one of the only permanent cyclocross courses around."
"It offers great terrain and great facilities around the course," she added.
City of Boulder Vamont Bike Park director Michael Eubank said the park was built for both daily recreation for the community and national and international events, like this.
"I'm extremely excited, because I think there's been a very long-term climb to this," Eubank said. "It's been a process, not just of building the park, of bringing back not just cycling recreation, but cycling racing to Boulder."
Eubank said the turnout of support for the bid to host the cyclocross championships was overwhelming.
"I can't tell you the calls I got that said, 'Mike, just tell me what you need, I'll do it,'" he said. "So many people just wanted this here."
That support came through during USA Cycling's visit to the park, Eubank said.
"We had a really strong site visit, I really think we kind of blew them away, because we could've held a race the next month," Eubank said.
The news about the cyclocross championships comes on the heels of Tuesday's announcement that the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge road race, in August, will pass through Boulder twice and finish atop Flagstaff Mountain.