Irish rider Maria Larkin is set to make her UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup debut at CrossVegas later today. The race in Las Vegas is the first round of this season’s series.

She will compete against many of the biggest names in the sport including Sanne Cant and Ellen van Loy of Belgium, Great Britain’s Helen Wyman, Hanka Kupfernagel of Germany, Sophie de Boer of the Netherlands, Katerina Nash of the Czech Republic and Katie Compton of the U.S. Last year’s race was won by Meredith Miller who returns this year.

Larkin from Mayo has been racing in the U.S. for the past five years. She’s based in the Midwest and races for the Chicago Cuttin Crew. Earlier this year, she won the silver medal at the Irish Cyclocross Nationals earlier this year, where she finished behind Fran Meehan.

She’s aiming to step up a level this year, competing in four other UCI races, before returning again for the Irish National Championships in January.

The race marks the first time the UCI series moves outside Europe. The course is at the Desert Breeze Soccer Complex southwest of the Las Vegas strip, and despite the races taking place in the evening, the temperature is expected to still be in the late 20’s °C.

Today’s race starts at 20.15 local time.

2015-16 UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup

September 19 – Las Vegas (USA)
October 18 – Valkenburg (Ned)
November 22 – Koksijde (Bel)
December 20 – Namur (Bel)
December 26 – Heusden-Zolder (Bel)
January 17 – Lignieres-en-Berry (Fra)
January 24 – Hoogerheide (Ned)


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