The UCI has considered switching the positions of Cyclo-Cross World Championships and National championships during the season in order to get more top riders at the start. UCI CEO Peter Van den Abeele said this in an interview with Sporza.
"After the World Cup in Hoogerheide last year, we debated this internally. We wondered whether the World Cup and national championships should switch places on the calendar. An idea that we quickly abandoned, because it would have a detrimental impact on the national federations," Van den Abeele confirms.
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"In addition, the national championships now serve as a benchmark for the World Cup. For example, if you put the Championship on the calendar after the World Cup, the national title battle loses value. Riders would then all have to return to their country for their national championship and then travel back to Belgium for the other classification races. This causes extra costs for foreign riders and these are precisely the ones who incur so many costs during the year."
Van den Abeele's final argument is that it would also have a negative impact on the international image of cross-country. "The cross season only lasts a few months and has been shortened in recent years. Not only because the Big Three start the season later, but also because the real crossers take a break more often during the season. They don't ride all the crosses anymore."