Racing to Louisville
If you have yet to commit to racing the Cyclocross National Championships next month in Louisville, Kentucky, now might be a good time. Early registration ends Friday night, after which the price goes up by around 30%. Besides, with just five weeks to go, it's time to tweak and hone your training and to make some arrangements for housing.
This year's second Cyclocross Championship, "18.2" marks the event's return to December. For several years USAC scheduled Nat's for January, when national championships happen in Europe. But in the colder climates of the northern United States that made for sparse schedules leading up to the event and lower attendance as a result. The first CX Championship of 2018 was January 9-14 in Reno, Nevada. 18.2 will be December 11-16.
Lucky for us, Nationals this time around is in Louisville, Kentucky, an easy 7+ hour drive from eastern Iowa. Many of us visited Louisville for Masters Worlds and the UCI's World Championship in 2013. But Nat's this year isn't at Eva Bandman Park & Cyclocross Venue, the permanent cyclocross course right on the Ohio River. Instead it will be a few miles south in Joe Creason Park, home of last year's Derby City Cup and the 2017 Pan American Cyclocross Championship.
We won't race the exact same course this year, but videos from last year's races can give us some idea of what Joe Creason Park has in store for us.
Come for a race or two, stay for the week. Louisville is a beautiful city with tons of stuff to do. Sadly, the Mega Cavern Bike Park is closed for the season, but you'll find plenty of other ways to keep busy. Score an Airbnb in the Highlands or Germantown neighborhoods and you'll be within biking distance of both the race venue and downtown Louisville.
Five weeks is too far out to predict weather, but on average Louisville is 11-12˚ F warmer than eastern Iowa in December, with an average high in the mid-40s, and an average low hovering right around freezing. With twice the chance for rain -- eight days a month to our four -- Louisville seems the perfect spot for Cyclocross Nationals.
If you can swing it, on your way down to Louisville race the Midwest Regional CX Championship near Madison or the Afterglow in Chicago the weekend before. A fitting end to a great cyclocross season!
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