The 2010 USA Cycling Cyclo-Cross Nationals otherwise known as Cross Nats, are being held once again in Bend, Oregon from Dec 8-12th. Bike Town USA and Visit Bend are putting on a fun filled five-day celebration of the Cyclo-Cross lifestyle for the second year in a row. Follow 2010 Cross Nat Twitter updates at: Cross Nats.
I wanted to know more about what USA Cycling will be doing to ramp up this years exciting races. Turns out Race Director Ben Ross and his team have designed an improved 2010 championship race course with more technically challenging sections at the Old Mill District.
Old Mill District
The Old Mill District is hosting the National CX Championships course. Here is a link to the 2010 race course map in PDF format:
The new race course will be around 1.5 to 2.0 miles in distance at an altitude of 3,625 feet. The start and finish lines are on roads. Every bit of terrain that CX riders bike on is offered on this course.
The staircase run-up, two barriers, and challenging technical sections from 2009 are back. This new 2010 championship course is approximately 500 yards longer and includes three new straight-aways for better opportunities to pass other riders, three off-camber sections that are for the more technically talented riders, and a ride-over bridge that will also serve as a spectator underpass entrance to the infield and fun beer garden. According to Kevney Dugan, the Sports Director with Visit Bend, last years race spectators crossed the course which could be dangerous so developing a new ride-over bridge helps make it a more safe event.
Cross Nats has a strong technological component. Tech ideas under consideration include a Live online broadcast, GPS, and location based Apps such as Foursquare. There is no weather contingency plans. If it’s a fierce white out the races will still continue on. Race organizers will simply have to break out the snow blowers but that is a rare occurrence that time of the year. Last year, it did dip down to 5 degrees on one of the race days so dress warm and stay dry. The best CX races occur when it’s a little bit muddy and wet. At the official end line there will be mounted a high-speed camera that judges can use in case of a photo finish.
During the time trails, all racers will wear a chip that triggers a switch that calculates each racers time. The chip will also help with sending riders out every 30 seconds during the time trails.
New this year at Nat Cross is the single speed bike race. The new single speed bike trend in CX is leading to more technological innovations as manufactures try to figure out how to get maximum performance and a competitive edge. Things like how many teeth to use in the chain ring or what techie materials stand up best to the cold can make all the difference in a close race.
Watch highlights of the 2009 Nationals Video – Elite Men’s Race – by ki7fk , on Youtube here.
Registration will be managed by USA Cycling this year and they are expecting to open registration in October. Unlike last year and prior cyclocross races the starting position of each race will be determined by the racer’s time in an individual cyclocross time trial performed the day prior to race day at NW Crossing.
Thrilla Race Series
The cyclocross lifestyle is alive in Bend 24/7/365 and in September it’s going on Thursday nights at the Thrilla CX Race Series held at the NW Crossing Neighbor by Webcyclery. Classes consist of A’s, Masters (40+), B’s, Women, Beginner Women, and Jr’s (age 12+)/High School teams.
The new course at NW Crossing gives you a preview of the terrain that will be used for the new time trial cross course that will also be used at Cross Nationals this year to decide the call up order for each race.
This NW Crossing course consists of dirt roads, gravel trails, tree-lined singletrack, a big run-up or two, barriers, a few block worth of pavement, and a steep descent and climb back up on a dirt road. The use of the new 2010 race venue is provided by the local NW Crossing Neighborhood.
Check out the Webcylery Thrilla Race Series web site page and see the 3-digit paper race number graphic, picture and instructions.
I rode a bike to a Thurday night Thrilla race with my Dad and shot a video that is posted on the Sports Techie Youtube channel. Check out the Cross Nats TT course here.
Bike Town USA
Visit Bend is expected perhaps 1,200 riders and over 2,500 total visitors to Bike Town USA. This is a boom for the local economy which has been hit hard by recent recession.
USA Cycling has a ten-year contract in place said Visit Bend Marketing Director, Lynnette Braillard. She told me that USA Cycling Mt Bike and Master’s Finals along with BMX will be coming to Bend over the next few years.
Vendors such as Shimano, Specialized and Schlamm Clothing, a CX specific apparel company company, will be displaying their newest techie bicycles, products and wares.
Around Mid-October, Visit Bend will publish an Official online event guide in a PDF format so check back for that.
In the meantime, if you plan to attend the Cross Nats this December, this link takes you to a schedule of events, accommodations and festivities:
The popular Art+Bike Love Festival is at NW Crossings on Thursday at 6:30 – 9:00 and then moves to Downtown Bend on Friday and Saturday from 5-9pm.
Friday from 7pm-9:30 pm you can check out the Cyclocross film and music at the Tower Theatre. Tickets can be bought at Webcyclery.
On Saturday from 9pm-Late you want to be at the Deschutes Brewery Warehouse as they host the Cross Nat’s Blowout Bash and the 2ndAnnual Clydesdale Cyclocross Championship of the Universe at 9:30 pm.
Bring your Cowbells
It’s going to be a Sports Techie kind of time in Bend for the 201o CX Nationals come December. Be sure to bring your cowbells and let me know if you are going with a reply below! I’ll see ya when I see ya Sports Techie…