Maasmechelen is a newcomer to the Cyclo-cross World Cup calendar. Within the setting of Terhills park, the organization is also aiming for a real first: to become the first zero-waste cyclo-cross race ever.
On October 30, the cyclocross circus would actually settle in Rucphen in Brabant, but a completely new cross is now planned in Maasmechelen in Belgium. The organization has a clear mission, Ralf Terwingen, the mayor of Maasmechelen, explains in conversation with The Importance of Limburg. “I had been trying to put on an international cyclocross race for some time. I didn’t manage to do that last year, but now that the opportunity presented itself, we naturally jumped into the gap.”
“A World Cup cross on October 30: that means a short day. Nevertheless, I think we should be ambitious. Not only in the field of regional marketing, but also in the context of sustainability. Therefore, this edition will serve as a test case. Where we can, we will do our utmost to achieve ecological and biological solutions. We want to work with recyclable materials as much as possible. Also in the field of power supply, we try to avoid the use of diesel generators as much as possible and to encourage the use of green energy.”
The cyclocross wants to develop into a completely environmentally friendly cross in the short term. “Putting a zero-waste edition already will not work. But hopefully the World Cup will return to Maasmechelen in the future so that we, together with Flanders Classics and the UCI, can further expand our shared philosophy,” Terwingen outlines.
The location of the brand new World Cup cyclo-cross has not yet been completely determined, but Terwingen is already providing a little more clarity. “The start and finish location will most likely be built within Terhills, near the two shaft blocks. Not bad, because that way we do storytelling through the cross. This way we can perfectly visualize our transition. Our municipality was once synonymous with mining the black gold. Already now, but certainly in the future, we are fully committed to green gold.”