With the Iowa State Cyclocross Championship just around the corner you might assume that the 2019 cyclocross season is all but over. But before 'Cross Words signs off for the season we want to point out some fun yet to come this year and maybe even get you thinking about CX2020.
Late Saturday afternoon, right after State, the Iowa Cyclocross Series will do podiums for the series just down the street at Brightside Aleworks in Altoona. If the series included Women Masters we'd be there for sure. If you're in contention or want to cheer on those who are make your way to Brightside Aleworks.
If you're jonesing to race the weekend after Thanksgiving you won't have too many choices. That Sunday, Region Riot CX in Crown Point, Indiana is the only race within 300 miles of Eastern Iowa. For a full weekend of racing – UCI C2 no less – check out the 10th edition of Ruts-n-Guts in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. That's over 500 miles away, probably 8 or so hours of driving. On the bright side, it's likely to be warmer there.
photos courtesy of SnowyMountain Photography
Of course, if money is no object (nor time, nor travel) why not head out to Tacoma, Washington December 10-15 for the 2019 National Championship? There is no better competition, and every serious 'cross racer should make it to Nationals one year or another. If not now, when? (More on that below, actually...)
If you can't make it to Nationals but you still haven't had enough, consider joining the Chicago Cuttin Crew Sunday, December 15 for Afterglow – A Cyclocross Race at Douglas Park in Chicago. This one last taste of cyclocross is not part of the ChiCrossCup (so warning: no Women Masters field!) but since 2010 has offered a fast, friendly, fun finale to the season.
CX2020 is only 8 months away
Despite our best efforts, the 2019 cyclocross season will eventually come to a close. Before it does, let's be clear: it's not too soon to be thinking about CX2020. Why?
For starters, the end of the season is the perfect time to reflect on your ride and make plans for next year. Could your bike handling be better? Grab the mountain bike and hit the trails. CX skills lacking? Drill your starts, dismounts, and carries. Fitness an issue? The "off-season" is the perfect time to shed some pounds, if you're properly motivated.
In large part that motivation comes from planning, so think it through and set some goals. Same thing with bike maintenance and travel plans: once 'cross season hits you won't have much time to spare, so get on it now.
There's a lot of uncertainty brewing about our CX2020, stirred by controversy way over in Northern Europe. A radical redefinition of the UCI's World Cup would involve 16 races running every Sunday from October 11 to January 24. What does that mean for us?
Most likely the new World Cup schedule would preclude World Cup races in the US. Without WC status Jingle Cross and Trek CXC will continue, but may move around the calendar, meaning every schedule in the Midwest is now up in the air.
To make matters worse, that schedule for the World Cup interferes with US Nationals in December. It may even mean that all national championships will eventually be pushed way back to February. Brrr!
Keep an eye out, or better yet check back here or on the CRANDIC Calendar. When we know more you'll know more.
We may not know dates for months to come, but we do know of some truly exciting races for CX2020. Jingle Cross and Trek CXC will be back at some point. FayetteCross will be better than ever as its organizers prepare to host Cyclocross Worlds in 2022. And Ruts-n-Guts down in Oklahoma will return, just in case you need to work on your late season form...
and Best of all
Next year the 2020 Cyclocross Nationals will take place December 8-13 in DuPage County outside of Chicago. That's just three hours from Eastern Iowa, the closest Nats have come since a two-year stint near Madison in 2012 and 2013.
Start shaving your points, cyclocross fans – we're going to Nationals!
'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.)