Pan-American Championships canceled in Fayetteville

The pro women line up before the start of FayetteCross on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019.

Photo by Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer

The 2020 Pan-American Cyclocross Championships have been canceled due to COVID-19, officials announced on Tuesday.

The two-day event was scheduled for Nov. 7-8 at Centennial Park as part of the annual FayetteCross races, and was set to provide athletes and spectators an early look at the Fayetteville course which will host the 2022 world championships.

Molly Rawn, CEO of Experience Fayetteville, said the Pan-American Cycling Confederation, which encompasses 43 nations across the world and organizes the annual championships, has opted not to reschedule the 2020 event.

The Fayetteville Advertising and Promotion Commission, which oversees Experience Fayetteville, last year received a $2.3 million grant from the Walton Family Foundation to help support several cyclocross events in Fayetteville, including the 2022 world championships.

The commission set aside $350,000 of the grant money to hire Brook Watts, a longtime cyclocross race director who was the owner of CrossVegas, an event that began in 2007 and grew into one of the biggest international cyclocross events during its 11-year run in Las Vegas.

Watts said racers can still get a sneak peek of the course when FayetteCross returns on Oct. 2-3, 2021.

“These decisions are never easy, but they are important,” said Molly Rawn, CEO of Experience Fayetteville. “Our concern is always the health and safety of our community and visitors. We look forward to hosting an international event in 2021 and welcoming everyone to Fayetteville.”