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.