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University of Iowa News Release


Nov. 9, 2007

Cyclocross event Nov. 24-25 to break records, benefit UI Children's Hospital

Organizers say they expect the 2007 UCI Carousel Volkswagen Jingle Cross Rock cyclocross race Nov. 24-25 in Iowa City to surpass all records for participation as the event continues its strong growth.

Cyclocross combines elements of mountain biking with cross-country running. Pre-registrations for this year's event have already exceeded the record pre-registration numbers from 2006.

There will be 27 races in two days for all levels of abilities, including beginners. The Elite races feature U.S. ProTour riders Chris Horner from the Tour de France and Jason McCartney (Discovery Channel, U.S. Olympic Team), as well as the 2005 U.S. National Elite champion Todd Wells.

"This is our first year as a UCI event, the same governing body that oversees the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia, and the Vuelta Espana," said John Meehan, M.D., event director. "Most important, this is a fundraiser for University of Iowa Children's Hospital, the only international caliber race of its kind for charity."

The event takes place at the Johnson County Fairgrounds. Whether it's raining, snowing or the sun is shining, the event still goes on. More details are available online at

"I would love it if people would come out to try riding. If you can ride a bike for 30 minutes, you can do this event. You don't have to race it, just ride it. If people don't want to ride, then please come out and be a spectator," Meehan said.

"It's funny how people will do a 5K fun run without thinking twice about it," Meehan said. "But when you say 'bike racing,' people seem reluctant to try it. Just ride it for fun at your own pace. It's by time, not distance, so beginners are done after 30 minutes no matter what. If you can ride a bike for 30 minutes, you can do this event."

"Cyclocross is the ideal spectator sport," Meehan added. "Fans and spectators can be inches away from the professional riders as they wind back through the twisty course. Unlike a road race such as the Tour de France, the racers pass the spectators dozens of times as they complete lap after lap."

University of Iowa Children's Hospital serves children and their families at its main campus in Iowa City and satellite clinics in communities throughout the region. A 180-bed "hospital within a hospital," UI Children's Hospital benefits from the sophisticated services and comprehensive resources of University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Child magazine ranks UI Children's Hospital among the top 20 children's hospitals in the nation.

UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale), based in Aigle, Switzerland, is the world governing body that oversees competitive cycling events.

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room E110 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945,