Wow, I woke up this morning to temperatures in the 40’s. Where did summer go? But cool, crisp mornings can only mean one thing: ‘Cross season is almost here! We’ve got a great line-up of races this year. The number of events on the WCA calendar keeps getting bigger. We’re up to 16 races, running from early September to early December. Some old stand-bys are being joined by a couple of new & exciting venues.
The season starts in Sheboygan on September 7th. But if you’re going to Door County to ride the DC Century that weekend, they’ve added a fun looking CX race to their event as well. Then it’s off to Lake Geneva on September 15th. This was a new race last year, which I missed. So no insights there. The weekend of Sept. 21/21 would normally have been the USGP races in Sun Prairie. But unfortunately that series has dissolved. However, those dates have been filled by the Trek CXC Cup in Waterloo. I’m not a huge Trek fan, but I imagine that they’ll put on a 1st class event. September 28th takes us to East Troy and the Twilight Cross. As the name implies, this is held under the lights, which makes for a really fun racing experience. Of course last year was a beautiful night with a full moon, so that helped. October 5th & 6th WERE slated for the Cross the Domes races at Mitchell Park in Milwaukee. But apparently construction has necessitated moving these to Noyes Park. I’ve always enjoyed racing at the Domes, but I’m sure the organizers will come up with great courses at Noyes. That takes us to October 12th, which is PumpkinCross in Grafton! Belgianwerkx is excited to be the team behind this race. We’ll be changing up the course a bit, but WE WILL NOT remove the sledding hill. And it will still go UP, not down. Music, food & beer (as well as all things pumpkin) will be involved, so come on out to race, watch & heckle. It should be awesome.
Then we head west for the next 2 races. October 13th in Verona for BadgerPrairieCross. This is held in the same park as the last 2 National Championships. A couple of nasty hills, so my large posterior has never done well there. Then to Sun Prairie on October 19th. I remember this course as being fun, fast and long. Some off-camber stuff is thrown in though to help the bike handlers. Back to Doyne Park in Milwaukee on October 20th. I was there a couple years ago, all I remember is a lot of grass and a tricky uphill helix. The craziest event follows on October 26th at Washington Park in Milwaukee. Halloween Cross always brings out great race fields and big crowds. Halloween costumes are encouraged. Just a whole lot of fun. Results don’t really matter. Estabrook Park in Shorewood hosts the next race on November 2nd. This might be my favorite course on the circuit. Some woods, some fields and the famous “toilet bowl” helix make for fun racing. And the old German Bier Garten is right at the finish. A new venue follows on November 3rd in Waterloo. Cam-Rock in Cambridge takes place on November 9th. This is the most “mountain-bikey” of the courses. A fair amount of fun & twisty trails thru the woods in a beautiful park make for a fun day. Back to Hales Corners for Kringle Kross on November 17th. This was the State Championship course for a few years. One pretty good climb, a lot of technical turns and a sand volleyball court. I’m still picking sand from my teeth after flipping over another guy a couple years back in that sand pit (but it was a soft landing). The final race of the “regular” season takes place on Madison’s east side. BootyCross is hands-down the hardest course we have. Diabolical. A huge hill we’re made to climb maybe 3, 4, 5 times? Ouch.
That takes us to the State Championships, which will held on December 7th. At this point the location is still being worked out. The last 2 years were in Verona, prior to that in Hales Corners. Stay tuned. Finally, after 2 years in Madison, the National Championships are moving to Boulder in January. Even if you don’t race, that would be an amazing road trip.
For more info on the WCA CX Series, go to wicycling.org
Bill Koehler: President/Owner of Wisconsin Discount Securities Corp. Born & raised in Mequon, currently resides in Cedarburg with wife Jo, 2 college boys, 2 dogs & 2 cats. Passionate about bikes, enjoys Masters road, crit & cyclocross racing. But most of all, just loves RIDING!
Photos courtesy of Darren Hauck. See more at http://lab414.wordpress.com/