Capital City Cross was one of the first cyclocross races in Iowa. Now the progeny of BIKEIOWA Racing Team and located in Stone Park in Des Moines, the race has been around forever. And yet its organizers aren't satisfied doing the same old. In fact, this year Capital City Cross will feature two days of racing with four different events at two separate venues.
"Much of the thought behind "unsanctioned Sunday" was because Iowa does not have many USA Cycling officials these days," said BIKEIOWA's Scott Sumpter. "So we'll officiate Sunday on our own, plus the fun aspect of RELAYCROSS will bring a lot more folks to the event."
The collaboration with Midstate is, in part, down to the shortage of officials, and in part down to the lack of a firm venue for a separate Midstate weekend. "We all believe that a few quality races can supersede quantity (weekly races with smaller turnouts).
Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!
So what the heck is short track CX? "An unsanctioned mini-cyclocross course, similar to the first Night Cap Cross. It actually happens at the same venue (Mullets). The course will be short and tight and hopefully flowy and fast with some unique features."
Is he talking about gravel? "Yes, everyone is a 'gravel racer' these days... the hype is unreal, yet very real... Gravel pretty much goes year 'round now and its entry point is even easier than CX, which I touted for years as the entry point to competitive cycling."
Is Iowa cyclocross hurting for lack of Jingle Cross? "I don't think the absence will affect us much going forward. Trek Cup is fulfilling for the folks who need to attend/race an event like Jingle Cross. So many locals weren't racing Jingle Cross since the competition was so fierce. Plus it really messed with the local race schedule when it moved to September versus 'Jingle' weather."
Thanks, Scott! We'll see you in Des Moines!
So, for those of us competitive or compulsive enough to shudder when reading "no Midstate Cross the weekend after," what are our options that first weekend in October? For Eastern Iowa folks there are options both days in Illinois and Wisconsin. Personally, I can highly recommend Badger Prairie Cross in Verona (Madison), Wisconsin Saturday October 1, and Schiller Woods CX in Chicago Sunday October 2.
Badger Prairie Cross was twice the venue for USAC Cyclocross Nationals, and it didn't disappoint. Schiller Woods is a first time venue, true, but it's also the first race in the Chicago Cross Cup, filling in for our beloved Caldwell Woods (which is under construction). ChiCrossCup races are big, welcoming, and fun, so you can't go wrong. Better yet, make a weekend of it and do both -- the two are only a couple hours drive apart.