Most folks had Cannonball Cross penciled in for Labor Day Weekend this year, and that was no surprise. That had been its date since its inception in 2016. The big surprise was the sudden date change to mid-November.
Trek was the week before Jingle Cross, so the only real chance to race beforehand was Pella's since-deceased Dirty Wooden Shoe. Cannonball Cross was filling a void, but when it hit the calendar on Labor Day weekend there was definitely some grumbling from roadie and MTB types about cyclocross encroaching on traditional summer dates.
"So, we are moving forward with a new date. Same great race minus the bugs!"
Does the constricting 'cross schedule signal hard times for the sport we love? "While cyclists have a tendency to move around disciplines, I think 'cross offers such a unique environment that it will never really lose its draw. It's an extremely social and high-energy setting, which makes every race an exciting experience. It takes a certain mindset to race 'cross, and the die-hards will never really walk away from that. The unique nature of the discipline continues to draw new people as well, similar to the traction gravel has been getting.
"The success of the UCI and World Cup races was a unique experience felt around the world -- it was even voted best World Cup at one point. That kind of impact can't be overstated.
"We lost a fantastic race, but it also leaves space for organizers, racers, brands, and fans to step up to the example Jingle Cross created. They showed us that the sky is the limit, and it's our turn to make sure that legacy carries on."
Thank you, Matt! More on Cannonball Cross 2022 later, but just for the record registration for November 19 & 20 is already open at BikeReg.com. Don't miss it!