Does the thought of a four-day weekend without a race have you down? (Aside from the Turkey Trots, I mean.) Do you pine for the old days when Jingle Cross made Thanksgiving a real holiday? Are you concerned about race fitness with State and Nationals just weeks away? Don't worry. Cyclocross is here for you. With a little extra planning and effort you can race this holiday weekend.
Like every other weekend in our cyclocross season, Thanksgiving weekend affords us some options. Maybe you'll visit family in Indiana, so Region Riot CX near Gary will be close. Or if heading south for warmth is more to your liking, you might want to check out Kansas City's Fast and Furriest Cyclocross. Closer still, and as part of the Wisconsin Cycling Associations CX Series a good bet for stiff competition and a lot of fun, is the Battle of Waterloo CX.
Many of you know Waterloo, Wisconsin as home to Trek's CXC World Cup. That's understandable. But many don't realize that the little town hosts two other cyclocross races, the State Championship in December and the Battle of Waterloo this coming Saturday.
"This is the sixth running of the Battle of Waterloo CX," said Team Wheel & Sprocket's John Svanda. "We've changed dates over the years to accommodate other races in our series. We have hosted the State Championships in December and last year we had a mud-fest in October. But the majority of our races have fallen in November, so we feel that’s our sweet spot."
The race course is in Firemen's Park in Waterloo. "If you were up for the Trek World Cup, you may have driven past our hidden little gem. Firemen's Park is set back from the heart of downtown Waterloo and is home to one of the oldest operating carousels in the country. While it's closed for winter now, it really takes you back a few generations when you see it in action."
"We have a heated pavilion with room to set up trainers, indoor restrooms, a bar, and about everything needed for a cold-weather event. The race course has a great mixture of power, technical off-camber, fast descents, and plenty of climbing. If someone is targeting Nationals, this is where they want to be!"
Firemen's Park in Waterloo, Wisconsin is three and a half hours from Iowa City. So far, at least, the forecast for next Saturday is light rain and a high in the mid-40s. Check the Facebook Battle of Waterloo page for the latest info, more photos, and course maps and preview videos from years past.
If you've never raced in Wisconsin, expect a technical course, tough competition, and lots of hospitality. Svanda's Battle of Waterloo is no exception: "I hope to see you and the rest of your crew up here. As an incentive for making the long drive, I can knock $10 off of your entry fee. It’s not a lot, but I hope it helps!" That's only if you pre-register, folks, so get on it. Just use 'WELCOMEIOWA' when registering at USAC, and prepare for battle.