Portland is aiming to launch a bid for a future International Cycling Union (UCI) Road World Championships, with the city eyeing either the 2025 or 2026 event.
The city’s interest was revealed by Axel Merckx in an interview with Het Nieuwsblad, who explained that he is working with organisers to develop a potential course for the event.
Merckx, the son of five-time Tour de France winner Eddy, said plans were at an early stage with organisers yet to gather funds.
"I help outline the course, among other things," said Merckx, who serves as manager of the United States based Hagens Berman Axeon development team.
"They want to make it attractive, but it should not become a battlefield either.
"I think a World Championship circuit should offer every type of rider a chance to win the rainbow jersey.
"The plans look good, but are in their infancy.
"The organisers have yet to gather the funds.
"We also count on the support of the local authorities."
Should Portland decide to bid, the city in Oregon would hope to become the first US host of the World Championships since Richmond in 2015.
This year’s World Championships are scheduled to take place at Aigle and Martigny in Switzerland, while Bruges and Leuven in Belgium will stage the 2021 event.
Australia is due to host the World Championships for the second time in 2022 when Wollongong serves as the host.
Glasgow will host the 2023 event as part of the inaugural combined UCI World Championships, which will feature road, cross-country, marathon, downhill mountain bike events, track cycling, BMX, para-cycling, Gran Fondo and indoor cycling.
The Road World Championships will return to Switzerland in 2024 with Zurich due to host.
The annual event is expected to be held in Africa for the first time in 2025, with Rwanda considered as the favourite to be named host.