Never enough cyclocross, but you can't make it to Trek? Team Denovo has you covered.
Saturday, September 21st, "Valley Cross will be the best race that's not in Wisconsin."
Now in its fourth year, the Valley Community Center Cyclocross Course in West Des Moines is more than ready for a prime time debut. "We know we will lose racers to the Trek Cup," explains Jeff Osbourn, "but we are excited to host an earlier race this year when it's warmer."
"This will be our first year as part of the Iowa CX Series. We have a great venue and course for the series, but the course is also open seven days a week from sun-up to sun-down. We see people out there all the time."
The course itself is 1.7 miles long, mainly flat, and very fast. With sweeping corners and the course well broken in, it's very beginner friendly. "This course favors riders with a lot of power," said Osborn. "We know of several people who state this is their favorite place to ride."
Valley Cross is Saturday, September 21. Bragging rights and Iowa CX Series points are at stake, as well as cash prizes for all but the Juniors and the Fat Bike category. If you're not in Wisconsin, don't miss it.
Jingle Cross and the Trek CXC are right around the corner and the Juniors racing for Corridor Devo are ready. "My first race was Jingle Cross," said Aidan Jacobsen. "From there I fell in love with cyclocross and immediately wanted to do the next race I possibly could. I bothered my dad to sign me up for Trek the next weekend. It really helped me get into cyclocross."
Jingle Cross and the Trek CXC have been groundbreaking in many ways, not the least of which is offering a full slate of amateur racing alongside the spectacle of the World Cup. Is the racing too hard for Juniors and beginners? Not everyone agrees.
Olivia's father, Ben Caskey, argues that World Cup races would not be the best choice for a first race to compete in, but definitely a race to come watch and learn from. His son Griffin thinks the races are more competitive but not too hard.
Jocelyn says, "Jingle Cross is very welcoming because of the Junior Cup on Saturday. Going up Mount Krumpit is the hardest part, especially in the mud like last year."
Cam recommends the World Cup races to beginners as they get the full experience of a race that size. He says yes, they are harder, but in that the competition is harder. "There are usually so many more kids racing at these events and the abilities are all across the board. If you are a new racer there is a great chance that there are other new racers in your category."
There's also more to these events than racing. "I have definitely made friends at bigger races such as Jingle Cross and Trek and even nationals," said Aidan. "It's a great place to meet people because just walking around the course you can run into someone from another country or all the way across the country and get to talk to them and learn about where they're from and how they live. It's a great way to meet people."
"The Compton/ Keogh camp is one of my personal highlights of Trek," said Caelyn. "I always learn something new. The competition at a world cup event is much different then a local race. The atmosphere and race brings a closer experience to nationals than any local race."
"The kids are on the edge of exploding," said Brooke. "They look forward to these race weekends all year, a great time with the team and a time where they feel 'so close to pro.' To me, that is what it’s all about: fostering a wonderful environment where the kids can bloom."
"In my opinion, these events bring the future of cycling and cyclocross to light. I love when a bystander asks about this 'cycling thing.' It’s clear that opportunities in cycling are spreading in the US, and it's rewarding to be on the brink of that movement!"
There's still time to register for both Jingle Cross and Trek CXC, whether you're a Junior, a Cat 5, a wannabe pro, or a Masters racer. Then again, you can also just come watch and cheer us on.
If you're in the Iowa City area, Jingle Cross is still looking for volunteer help this week and through the race weekend. Come help make it happen!
"Dirty Wooden Shoe is a great event and has something for everyone," said Vanessa Curtis of Iowa City Cycling Club. "There are some challenging technical elements including the Dutch Letters and some long uphill segments that tax the cardiovascular system, which make it a great tune-up for Jingle Cross."
"It is also an unintimidating course for a beginner cyclocross rider," said Curtis, "with friendly people, flowing sections to practice cornering, and multiple barriers to work on mounts and dismounts."
Most years Dirty Wooden Shoe includes a set of standard wood barriers, a couple 4x4s on a hillside climb, a whole drain pipe, and a set of two half pipes. Unless you're good at bunny hopping that can add up to four dismounts each lap. Even more if you mistime the "Dutch Letters."
Waiting for the album to drop? Getting the band back together?
We might need to do a caption contest...
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.)
Okay, so not perfect, exactly. Let's say practice makes us better. In cyclocross wasted seconds add up fast, so the better prepared you are at the line the better your race will be. It's still fun, just fast and fun.
Luckily, Corridor 'cross racers have some options for honing their skills. CRANDIC Racing and friends will be at Coralville Creekside Cross Tuesdays from 5:30 on. You can even ride out via the recently extended Clear Creek Bike Trail. All are welcome, just wear a helmet.
For the latest updates drop us a line.
Just a few fun teasers for Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky December 11-16.
For an even closer look at the course itself and some interesting background check out CXHairs' excellent Course Preview.
Cyclocross Nationals start in just a week, but there are plenty of cross races on offer in the Midwest this weekend, including CornerstoneCX in Ames and the Midwest Regional Championship in Sun Prairie Wisconsin. Both races are Saturday, December 8, and both are preparing warming stations to help racers stay out of the cold. Other than that these two races are quite different: the Regional Championship is classic cyclocross at a storied venue, while CornerstoneCX is all new this year adding one or two unique twists to our beloved sport.
CornerstoneCX will feature two waves of races on two separate courses, all for the price of one. It also welcomes non-racers to come try riding the course ... for free. Race Director Scott Wall (Ames Velo) explained: "Because of the late date we figured people might be burned out on cross and we wanted to offer something different.
"We hope the race-off between the fastest and slowest riders in each group with no additional fees will hook people into coming and staying around for a second race. Keeping the second race short (think fat tire criteriums) should keep the intensity high, too – there won’t be time to ease into the race then pick off riders ahead of you.
If you're confused at all by the unusual format, don't worry. Ames Velo has it laid out clearly on their website along with maps and profiles. For the latest info check the Cornerstone CX Facebook page. The race is just an hour and forty minutes drive from Cedar Rapids and two hours from Iowa City.
Midwest Cyclocross Championship, Sun Prairie, WI
Angell Park Speedway in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin has held a special place in the hearts of 'cross racers since the heady days of the US Gran Prix of Cyclocross (2009-2012) when it served as one of only four stops in the national series. Saturday, for the third year running, it will play host to the Midwest Cyclocross Championships.
Registration, results, and podiums will be at Nitty Gritty across the street from the North end of the park. Staging, start, and finish will be on that end of the park as well.
The Midwest Regional Championship promises some of the best competition in the region. But if one last race isn't enough for you, or if you want a second tune-up on your way down to Louisville, Sunday check out the Chicago Cuttin Crew's Afterglow in Douglas Park, Chicago. See CXMagazine for an excellent write-up of both races.
Congrats to all of our cyclocross-crazy Iowans on their way to the National Championships in Louisville, Kentucky. Go get it!