Some interesting videos making the rounds on the Bay Area Cyclocross Group e-mail list.
First though here is the 2010 version of Cyclocross- this past weekend's UCI Cyclocross World Cup #2 held in Plzen, CZE. This is good video and the course looks very cool, and check out the huge crowds & it's support for their boy Stybar on his last lap.
It will be very interesting to see if Stybar can maintain his success when the courses are made up of mud, ice, snow, frost, downpour, and the racing slows dramatically & becomes much more technical. The conditions so far in Europe have been fairly tame during 2010 Cyclocross.
Second video is Cyclocross 1988 version, two years after I first raced Cross in Northern California. This video shows the 1988 UCI Professional Cyclocross World Championships, held in Hägendorf. This race turned out to be one of the hardest courses ever based on many a Cyclocross historians opinion. Check out the long, brutal running sections of mud and steep incline. You know it is steep when riders are hunched over like old men with bad backs, just trying to pass the run-up sections with their bike. This video is Cross racing at it's best!
Watch as riders plow through the roads that are nothing but mud bogs and swamp-like sections of course. I like the chaos of the pit zones with no real structure at all, just a free for all with riders fighting for a new bike from their support crews. The leaders were putting out some serious power on one of the most mud filled race routes I have seen for Cross. The crowds were extremely thick over the entire course and sometimes were acting up at fever pitch, but that race looked simply out of this world hard! Some of the running sections were endless and the mud that day was first class. I must admit that the riders of that era were excellent bike handlers in the slippery slop, and their Cross moves on and off the bike are beautiful to watch. Lastly, that tree log-stair run up section appeared to be overly steep and incredibly demanding to conquer, it had the slower riders just crawling upward to make the top.
And here is Cyclocross from the late 1950's or early 1960's. This is good viewing and certainly reminds many old school racers of the "Jungle Cross" era in Nor-Cal when courses were marked only with orange cones, if that. Obstacles could be dangerous if you could not swim or climb over 5 foot thick downed tree trunks, and sometimes you did not know where you were going but kept racing anyways cause it was fun!
I like the running start.... we need more of those now a days. You have to check out the stream-water crossings in this video. Any time you see riders tossing their bikes first into the stream and then jumping in after, you have to appreciate their creativity. A few riders really sling their bikes far, and have to really fish for the bikes in the deep water to just find them as they proceed to cross the obstacle. Listen to the commentator mention the racing ages of the group back then, he says 12 to 40 years old. They might have better water crossings then Nor-Cal Cross today, but we top them in age variation. Nor-Cal Cyclocross now has some select events with free kids races where 6 year old youths take to course, as well as some of our most senior riders- 65+ Masters aged studs who I personally admire and respect for their fitness and fire for life!
Lastly, I always liked Hans Kellner's video work of select events. Kellner literally gets right into the action, and his helmet camera videos are legendary!
2010 Monkey Cross #1 - Men's B Start
It was good to see Alex Candelario claim the win at this past weekend's Sac. Town race. It would be really good if Ben Jacques-Maynes, Andy Jacques-Maynes, and Candelario battled against each other and the other top Elite Men Cross racers of the NCNCA this season. Having those three top level Road riders, who all can race Cross at a equally high level, test the current crop of Nor-Cal's best pure Cross athletes would make for some very interesting action on course.