Are you ready for cyclocross? Ready or not, next weekend the fourth edition of Cannonball Cross will open Iowa's season in a big way. No shot across the bow, it's more like the battle is on. "This race is a great Opener to the CX season," said Twisted Spokes' Kathleen Porter, "to get you acclimated to the toughness and fun that is cyclocross!"
Cannonball has always been a tough race. "One of the reasons we decided to put on Cannonball Cross was Jingle Cross becoming a World Cup race and moving to September," explained Race Director Dave Delperdang. "We needed another race to get ready for that and for Waterloo, Wisconsin's Trek CXC Cup." The Mason City race draws talent from across the upper Midwest. The competition is fierce, but Delperdang and Spin Devo make sure it's fun as well.
"It is a very well run event with a challenging course," says Porter, "It has a little bit of everything from off camber switchbacks, wide open flats, steep hillside climbing and a super steep flyover* feature. The venue is very good with ample parking and there has been a food truck on deck. A well laid out course makes it spectator friendly from different viewing points."
Cannonball Cross is August 31 and September 1, 2019 in Mason City's East Park.
Register now at bikereg.com.
'Cross practices have begun. Two early season favorites, Cannonball Cross and Dirty Wooden Shoe, are only a week or two away. (C
heck CRANDIC Calendar for more.) The 2019 cyclocross season is truly here, and there's a lot to look forward to.
Cannonball Cross and Dirty Wooden Shoe mark the start of cyclocross season.
Sign Up How
So what's new this year? For starters, signing up. If your eyes gloss over at USACycling announcements you might have missed their new partnership with East Coast based BikeReg.com. Instead of splitting the honors, BikeReg.com will now handle all online registrations for USAC-sanctioned events. It works similarly to what you've done through USACycling in the past, but it will be nice to have all races in one spot.
This also makes us wonder if USAC's national ranking system will give way to BikeReg's own crossresults.com. Reportedly, though, for now the two systems will continue separately.
As for actual races, so far the news is a bit of a mixed bag. There is no Intergalactic Cyclocross Championship on the calendar for 2019 ("Too many great races this year filling the calendar already!"). But a great venue with that kind of history is bound to return at some point.
In Iowa City, there's no final word yet on a practice race at Coralville Creekside Cross, but a weekday evening event, City Park Community CX, was just announced for Wednesday, September 4.
With two World Cup races nearly in our backyards and a full season of great Iowa cyclocross races, why are we so excited about the FayetteCross UCI race in October down in Arkansas? Worlds 2022.
When the UCI announced Fayetteville as the site for Cyclocross Worlds, some people were left scratching their heads. Mountain bike fans, though, already knew BikeNWA as the folks who made Northwest Arkansas a mtb mecca. They and the UCI both knew that with enthusiastic backing from the Walton Family Foundation (Walmart), BikeNWA is more than capable of remaking Fayetteville into a cyclocross destination.
As VeloNews reported back in February, "For the next three years, cycling advocates and organizers in Northwest Arkansas will work to create a grassroots cyclocross scene to support the world’s biggest cyclocross event." Our first chance to race what will become Worlds 2022 is FayetteCross, October 5 & 6, 2019! (500+ miles from Eastern Iowa, about 8 hours of driving.) More soon!
MidWest REgional Championship
Last year, after missing the Chicago Cross Cup's season finale at sandy Montrose Harbor, we were disappointed to hear that it would no longer serve as the Illinois State Championship. What we didn't know at the time was that instead, for 2019 Montrose Harbor will be the MidWest Regional Championship. Considering that Nationals is nearly 2000 miles away on the West Coast this year, and that Iowa's State Championship is slated for November, Montrose Harbor will be the place to be Sunday, December 8. (Montrose Harbor, Chicago is 240 miles away, around 4 hours drive.)
photos courtesy of SnowyMountain Photography
Even further up the road, but no less exciting, Cyclocross Nationals 2020 will be in Cantigny Park in Wheaton, Illinois. It's a new venue and we don't know much yet, but not since Madison have Nationals been so close to home. If you weren't worrying about your points before you may want to start -- the next two years are one long build up to Cantigny Park! (Wheaton, IL is 200 miles or so, around 3 hours.)