Johnson County Fairgrounds prepping to host World Cup Cyclocross event

IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - The Johnson County Fairgrounds will look a little different over the coming weekend as volunteers and organizers are turning the space into a bicycle racecourse combined with an obstacle course.

The Cyclocross course at the Johnson County Fairgrounds was still under construction on Wednesday, September 11, 2019- but organizers said it will be done in time with plenty of obstacles like this large ramp when it's time to ride Friday night. (Aaron Scheinblum/KCRG)

It is called Cyclocross, and it will take both professional and amateur bike riders around a two-and-a-half-mile track filled with hills, bumps, and other obstacles.

"It's like an X-Games, it's NASCAR, it's a Steeplechase, it's a bike race, it's a running event, all in one- with an obstacle course," said John Meehan, the Director of Jingle Cross and UCI World Cup of Cyclocross in Iowa City.

The Jingle Cross event started years ago, but in recent years was added to the World Cup circuit for the sport. The name obviously has ties to Christmas, which is a theme that organizers still keep true to the event, including a Mount Krumpit and a Grinch's Kids Race.

Organizers of the event say they expect nearly 1,000 riders and thousands more spectators throughout the weekend.

Meehan said an event like this is important because it brings a big spotlight on Iowa City.

"We get 11 to 12 million television viewers every year," Meehan said. "That's about on par with a World Series baseball game, not a game seven. And the whole world is watching Iowa City and our community, and our amazing volunteers that make this event happen year after year."

The event starts Friday with amateur races, with the World Cup race taking place Friday night and will go through Sunday. Meehan said they realize many events are taking place Saturday at the same time as the Iowa State vs. Iowa football game- so they will put it on a big screen for people to watch at the same time.

For more information about the Jingle Cross event this weekend, visit their website for more details.