More information tomorrow on the NCNCA Cross Championships...
Then on this coming Sunday there are Cyclocross races hosted by the Sacramento Series & the Central Coast Series.
Looks as if there could be classic Cross conditions for this weekend's events, as foul weather is called for in Reno and Northern California. Difficult conditions make for the best & most memorable races. This year the BASP Series, the Santa Rosa Series, and the CCCX Series have all had epic Cyclocross races contested under adverse and brutal weather conditions. My suggestion to all is, if the weather is bad- get out there and race!
This version of Cross videos demonstrates how cool it is to race Cross in bad course conditions.
First video is from the Jaarmarktcross Niel 2010. This course is plain brutal! Just look at Neils Albert's face as he grinds through the sloppy and muddy conditions of the day. Albert is the second placed rider on course behind leader Sven Nys and his expressions are a testament to how difficult that track was to race on. It is amazing to see the strongest riders in the world simply not be able to ride parts of the deep mud, they are forced to run to maintain a higher speed. My favorite part of this video is toward the end of the clip when they show leader Sven Nys head into a pit zone for a bike change toward the end of the race. In a classic moment Nys had no support and his pit crew did not have his back-up bike ready to roll. Nys is a hero, he does not panic and continue on with a dirty bike. Nys calmly waits for his clean bike to arrive and then continues racing. Nys is the biggest star in Cyclocross today.
Check out the ankle deep mud section of course... better make sure your shoes are strapped on tight or there is a high chance it could get sucked off in in the mud. I like the camera man who is positioned on course in a mud pocket that could reach his knees if he sinks any deeper...
The second video is the most epic race I have seen on the UCI World level for years. It is from the Superprestige Hamme-Zogge 2010. Conditions of the day were beyond hard, and this race turned into a all time instant classic right from the start gun! This race breaks down to a three man battle in the final laps between Sven Nys, Neils Albert, and Klaas Vantornout. The running on this course became super sized after heavy downpours peppered the course for days leading up to the race. Just watching this video is a great show, and seeing the best riders slog and slop through horrible conditions makes for good action. It was amazing to see Klaas Vantornout make his winning bid in the final stages of the last lap while running! How many times do you see victories in Cross races come down to long, dragged out running sections of mud ponds and slop filled course. It is incredible to see Klaas Vantornout and Sven Nys just run away from Niels Albert and distance him immediately in the slime. The final comes down to a memorable finish in the last one minute of racing, and is very much worth watching!
Final video is from the Cyclocross GP de la Région Wallonne 2010. Ouch! This course just looks hard! It is a short video and if you speak French your in luck. Any time they open up the video with a close up view of the ground and it shows wet grass mixed with sloppy mud, the course is going to be difficult to navigate. French racer Francis Mourey gets the best of the mud on this day.
It is racing days like the videos displayed on this page that make Cyclocross so unique. I highly recommend when the weather is bad, you get out doors and race, because this is the true spirit of Cyclocross.