This Saturday Lions Park in Altoona will host the Iowa State Cyclocross Championship for the 13th time since 2008. Nothing unlucky about that, though -- the weather looks fine, the payouts generous, and a few days later CX Nationals will start just this side of Chicago.
"We're not planning any real large changes this year for State CX," said Race Director Justin Guiter from Zealous Racing. "That venue and course has been pretty tried and true over the years. If the couple days prior are wet, we may look at going back to previous versions, but for the most part the course itself will remain the same.
"Some teammates and I were just discussing the wide range of weather we've had for State CX. I think my first or second year there was a dusting of snow. Fast forward a couple years and it was -11⁰ at the start, and then just a couple years ago it was 34⁰ and raining, as well as the nicer days sprinkled in between."
So far the weather this year looks good, dry and ranging from an overnight low around 30⁰ to a high of 45⁰. That's lucky for us, not only to avoid sub-zero temps, but also without much rain the course will likely include the grassy climb and off camber 180 and descent below the park Shelter. It's a very fun part of the course.
The rest of the course isn't bad either. Arguably one of the better balanced races in the state, there's the uphill paved start and finish, power-sapping climbs and flowy descents, off-camber turns, and even a bit of single track. The challenging course and solid pay outs ensure some strong competition from neighboring states as well.
After years of practice, Zealous Racing knows how to get this race done. "Rory from RideBiker Alliance will be provide our State CX jersey for podium pictures with the option to order after the presentation to our winners. We'll have a food truck on site this year thanks to Off the Griddle. The menu is up in the air right now, but may include vegan options. We'll also have neutral support thanks to RynoVelo out of Ankeny."
Online registration for the Iowa State Cyclocross Championship ends Thursday at 6pm.
Finally Nationals in Chicago
It's been two years in the making, yet we've heard next to nothing about the course for USA Cyling's National Championships in Chicago next week. USAC posted the course map on Facebook yesterday, just a week before the event, but no details about elevation or terrain.
No matter, though: after Nationals and almost everything cyclocross was cancelled last year due to the pandemic, this year's event has already drawn over 1400 registrants. Beyond some stiff competition, we can't tell you too much about what to expect. But we can at least shout out to those representing Iowa there.
Jeff Osborn (Team Denovo) will race the Men's 50+ Thursday.
Jim Bethea (Iowa City Cycling Club), Noah Marcus (Neff Cycle Service), and Keith Snoop will race the Men's 45+ Thursday.
Linda Cooper (Sakari Race Team) will race the Women's 55+ Friday.
Autumn Olsen (Parallel 44) will race the 11-21 Women's Non-championship race Friday.
Clayton Stephens (Corridor Devo) will race the Men's Junior 13-14 Saturday.
Axel Brandsmeier (Corridor Devo), Fin Daufeldt (Corridor Devo), and Anders Holmes (L5 RACING TEAM) will race the Men's Junior 11-12 Saturday.
Griffin Caskey (Corridor Devo) and Chase Cubbage (Corridor Devo) will race the Men's Junior 15-16 Saturday.
Autumn Olsen (Parallel 44) will race the Women's Junior 15-16 Saturday.
Vance Fletcher (Phoenix Syndicate), Jason Scholbrock (BIKEIOWA Racing Team), Kaden Snoop, Brian West (Phoenix Syndicate), and Nathan Zollman (NorthStar Development) will race the Men's Singlespeed Saturday.
Nathan Zollman (NorthStar Development) will race the Men's Junior 17-18 Sunday.
And Luke Arens (Adapt Cycling), Seamus O'Connor-Walker (University of Iowa), and Dakota Olsen (Move Up) will race the Men's Under 23 Sunday.
Go get it!