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University of Iowa News Release


Nov. 10, 2008

2008 cyclocross event to be bigger, best version yet

Organizers say they expect the 2008 UCI Carousel Volkswagen Jingle Cross Rock cyclocross race Nov. 29-30 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 2007.

There will be 27 races in two days for all levels of abilities, including beginners.

"This is our second 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."

This year's list of superstar athletes will include last year's returning champion Todd Wells, who competed in the Olympics in Beijing on the U.S. team. Joining Todd will be Massachusetts native and reigning U.S. National Cyclocross Champion Tim Johnson.

"Wearing the Stars and Stripes jersey as the national champion has opened many doors, allowing me to travel to see new venues," Johnson said. "The Jingle Cross has the reputation as being one of the best run events in North America."

Other notable returnees will include Todd Wells' younger brother Troy Wells, a former under-23 U.S. National Champion; professional rider Andy Jacques-Maynes; and Laura Van Gilder, one of the top female cyclists in U.S. history. Other expected riders include five-time world mountain bike champion Steve Tilford and Bjorn Selander, a former top junior in the World Championship events.

The event takes place at the Johnson County Fairgrounds. Whether it's raining, snowing or the sun is shining, the event goes on. For more details about the event visit

"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: University of Iowa Health Care Marketing and Communications, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room E110 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

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