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  • Zach Berg
  • Mon September 19 2016
  • Posted Sep 19, 2016

When John Meehan learnedthat Iowa City would be hosting the Telenet UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup, feelings of joy and panic hit him as he realized he and his former hometown would bepresenting the biggest event in the bicycle sport's world.

"It waselation, thensuddenlyfear at thesame time,"Meehan, the race's director,said Thursday."We'd worked so hard for so many years to get here, and then suddenly it hit me: We're going to have to host something massive."

The World Cup races, which will be at the Johnson County Fairgrounds on Saturday,will featurethe best cyclo-cross athletes in the world. Bookending theWorld Cup races on Friday and Sundaywillbe a longtime Iowa Cityevent, theVolkswagenJingle Cross Cyclo-Cross races, which has drawn thousands of professional and amateur cyclo-cross athletes to the area for years.

This three-day,colossal cyclo-cross eventispredicted to bring roughly10,000 tourists, professionalbicyclists and amateur riders from across the globe to the Iowa City area, said Josh Schamberger, president of the Iowa City/Coralville Convention and Visitor's Bureau.

Schamberger added that an estimated 10 million people will also be watching the series of World Cup cyclo-cross racesSaturday as it's broadcastacross the globe.Theraces,featuringcyclists riding through creeks and woodsand quickly dismounting to jump obstacles, are popular inEurope.

NBC Sports Network will also stream the Iowa City World Cup event live online from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, and will rebroadcast the races on the UniHD channel Sept. 26.

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