2014 Cyclocross National Championships

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After two years of being spoiled with championship racing in Madison, WI, our virtual backyard, the USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships this Wednesday through Sunday, January 8th-12th, are in Boulder, CO.

Despite the distance to those of us in the Midwest, no one can deny that Boulder and bikes go together just as well as bikes and beer. (For the record, Boulder does beer really well, too. In fact, one could argue that Boulder is the birthplace of microbrew.)

And a trip to Boulder is less involved than a trip to the Cyclocross World Championships this year. Last year, we were again spoiled with world class racing only a short road trip away, in Louisville, KY. For 2014, the Elite World Championships are being held February 1st and 2nd, across the pond in Hoogerheide, Netherlands – we admit, another indisputable choice for cyclocross racing. (Masters Worlds was this past weekend in Gossau, Switzerland.)

Boulder is a city known for its world class athletes and its commitment to outdoor endeavors. Cycling is a way of life – whether it be road cycling from mountain pass to mountain pass, off-road cycling as a way to relieve stress after a day’s work or commuting to one of Boulder’s many outdoors retailers, unique shops or pubs.

 

Course

 

2014 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championship Boulder Valmont Bike Park course

 

Valmont Bike Park, the site of the 2014 Cyclocross National Championships is home to 40 acres of diverse natural terrain. Race organizers are making the most of the “40 acres of awesome” park to make a challenging and diverse course for the Championship.

2014 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championship Boulder Valmont Bike Park 5280 run-upUsing the Boulder Cup to test different layouts for the course, race organizers have been able to maximize the terrain at Valmont Bike Park for Nationals. Described as an “all-rounder course,” this course has something for everyone. There are fast, flat pedaling sections, uneven terrain, climbs, steep downhill sections, off-camber descents, sand and two stair sections including the Belgian steps, a high-speed stair section. The other stair section, the 5280′ Run-up, is made up of two flights of stairs with one step at exactly one mile in altitude, hence the staircase’s name.

Valmont Bike Park is, according to VeloNews, “truly an amazing facility, particularly for those into cyclocross, BMX, dirt jumping, or dirt riding with children, or who are mountain-bike singletrack newbies wanting to try riding high-speed berms, skinny logs and other stunts.” The elite male and female inners of last year’s Boulder Cup, Belgian Ben Berden and Colorado native Katie Compton, both “gushed about the quality of the Valmont course and its massive and enthusiastic crowds.”

 

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2014 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championship Boulder Valmont Bike Park 5280 run-up JanuaryAs Pete Webber, course designer, pointed out in the video, the difficulty of a cyclocross course is determined by the weather. As of last Friday, the course was blanketed in snow.

The forecast for this week shows variable sunshine with temperatures ranging from highs in the low to mid 40’s during the day and below freezing temps at night – meaning the course conditions will likely offer varying degrees of mud throughout the day.

 

 

Five Days of Racing

The schedule begins Wednesday with Non-Championship racing and culminates in an exciting weekend of elite and pro level racing. Male Junior 17-19 Cat 1/2/3, Female Elite/U23 17+ Pro/Cat 1/2/3 and Male Elite 19+ Pro/Cat 1/2 racing will all be streamed live on USA Cycling’s website.

But the racing isn’t just for the big boys and girls. For the first time ever at Cyclocross Nationals, the Junior categories have been realigned, creating categories for 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, 15-16 and 17-18, providing for more even match-ups between them and allowing 9-year-olds to get involved in the racing action. Boulder has also built into the schedule time for non-competitive racing for those 9-years-old and under in the PreJ categories.

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Recognizing future generations of cyclocross racers, Boulder has dedicated a lot in to making this National Championship as kid-friendly as possible. According to Greg Keller, accidental cyclocross expert, “We’re pouring as much as we can community-wise into making the event most especially awesome for the kids. The sport is growing by leaps and bounds with their participation.”

 

 

Elite/Pro Racing

CX Cyclocross World Championship Eva Bandmann Park Louisville KY Kentucky 2013 Katie Compton Women EliteAs for the current generation, coming fresh off her World Cup win in Rome, Colorado native Katie Compton (Colorado Springs, CO/Trek Cyclocross Collective) leads the women’s pack. Katie is a nine-time and current National Champion.

Two Boulder natives competing with Katie are predicted to secure top-10 spots. Meredith Miller (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized), a strong rider, is always in contention. Another threat to Compton is Nicole Duke (Marin/SPY), who took third in last year’s championship race, riding hard after mechanical issues.

Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale Cyclocrossworld), formerly of Racine, WI, now living in Colorado Springs, CO, after securing National Champion U23 rider two years in a row, is also ranked highly.

CX Cyclocross World Championship Eva Bandmann Park Louisville KY Kentucky 2013 Women Elite Tim Johnson USAThe predictions for the men’s race show some familiar names at the top of the list. Last year’s podium toppers are there: Jonathon Page (Northfield, NH/Fuji/Spyoptics), with four national titles under his belt, Zach McDonald (Bainbridge Island, WA/Team Rapha-Focus) and James Driscoll (Park City, UT/Donnelly Sports).

Timothy Johnson (Topsfield, MA/Cannondale Cyclocrossworld) is predicted to place high this year. Jeremy Powers (Easthampton, MA/Team Rapha-FOCUS), 2012 National Champion, and Ryan Trebon (Bend, OR), two-time National Champion, are ranked highly also.

 

2014 Cyclocross National Championships Schedule

Remember: all times are MST. Add one hour to adjust for CST.

Wednesday (MST)

9:00am CX Female Non-Championship 40 mins
10:00am CX Male Non-Championship 10-29 40 mins
11:00am CX Male Non-Championship 30-44 40 mins
12:00pm CX Male Non-Championship 45-99 40 mins
1:00pm CX Male Industry Race Cat 1/2/3/4/5 40 mins
1:00pm CX Female Industry Race 40 mins
1:00pm CX All Industry Mechanics 40 mins
1:00pm CX All Industry Singlespeed 40 mins
1:05pm All PreJ
2:00pm CX Female Single Speed 40 mins
3:00pm CX Male Single Speed 40 mins

Thursday (MST)

9:00am CX Male Master 60-64 40 mins
9:01am CX Male Master 65-69 40 mins
9:02am CX Male Master 70+ 40 mins
10:00am CX Female Master 55-59 35 mins
10:01am CX Female Master 60+ 35 mins
11:00am CX Male Master 55-59 40 mins
1:00pm CX Female Master 45-49 35 mins
1:01pm CX Female Master 50-54 35 mins
1:05pm All PreJ
2:00pm CX Female Master 40-44 Cat 1/2/3 40 mins
3:00pm CX Male Master 50-54 Cat 1/2/3 45 mins

Friday (MST)

9:00am CX Male Master 45-49 Cat 1/2/3 45 mins
10:00am CX Female Master 30-34 Cat 1/2/3 40 mins
11:00am CX Female Junior 17-18 30 mins
11:01am CX Female Junior 15-16 30 mins
11:45am CX Male Junior 15-16 30 mins
12:30pm CX Male Junior 13-14 20 mins
1:00pm CX Female Junior 13-14 20 mins
1:05pm All PreJ
1:45pm CX Male Junior 11-12 20 mins
1:46pm CX Female Junior 11-12 20 mins
2:15pm CX Male Junior 9-10 20 mins
2:16pm CX Female Junior 9-10 20 mins
3:15pm CX D1/D2 Collegiate Team Relay 4 laps

Saturday (MST)

9:00am CX Male Master 40-44 Cat 1/2/3 45 mins
10:00am CX Female Master 35-39 Cat 1/2/3 40 mins
11:30am CX Female Collegiate Division 1 40 mins
11:31am CX Female Collegiate Division 2 40 mins
12:30pm CX Male U23 19-22 50 mins
1:30pm CX Male Master 35-39 Cat 1/2/3 45 mins
2:30pm CX Male Master 30-34 Cat 1/2/3 45 mins

Sunday (MST)

9:00am CX Male Collegiate Division 2 50 mins
10:00am CX Male Collegiate Division 1 50 mins
11:00am CX Male Junior 17-19 Cat 1/2/3 40 mins
1:30pm CX Female Elite/U23 17+ Pro/Cat 1/2/3 40 mins
2:45pm CX Male Elite 19+ Pro/Cat 1/2 60 mins

Again, all times are MST; add one hour to adjust for CST.

The last three races on Sunday will be streamed live at USA Cycling. Click here for the live stream, beginning at 12:00pm CST Sunday, January 12th.

 

Links for more information about the 2014 Cyclocross National Championships:

 

 

Need Help? Have Questions?

Highland Park | 847-433-2453
Wilmette | 847-256-2330

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