The 2014 UCI Cyclocross Masters World Championships will be held in Gossau, Switzerland on January 4 and 5th, and we have a handful of Americans heading over to contest and defend World Championship titles that were last awarded at the 2013 event in Louisville, Kentucky.
The January event in Switzerland obviously makes competing at Worlds and the 2014 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships in Boulder, Colorado quite difficult because of the close timing of the two events and the great distance between them (so difficult some cyclocrossers were petitioning the UCI for a change to accommodate USA Nationals racers).
Still, the allure of competing against the world’s best is appealing enough for some racers like Don Myrah to prioritize Worlds over Nationals, since the event will draw more than the handful of racers who made the trip to Louisville from outside North America.
The 2014 Masters Worlds race course is taking shape, and cyclocrossers heading to Gossau will face a grassy, potentially frozen or muddy cyclocross course that weaves through wide-open farm fields. It’s really an all-you-can-eat grass affair, with a bit of pavement and dirt road thrown in.
The course looks to have a lot of straight, power sections, without a ton of technical elements, but as in Louisville, Mother Nature will determine how challenging the racing will be on race day. Current forecasts indicate that there may be less snow and more mud than see in the video below, as light rain is forecast for most days from now until this weekend.
Fans and racers getting their fill of watching muddy, technical courses seen during the Christmas Week of cyclocross in Belgium may be disappointed to not see the steep and downs, rollers, sand pits and flyovers of Belgium, but this is Swiss Cross, not Belgian. Former Junior World Champion and nine-time Swiss National Champion Beat Wabel is the mastermind behind the event and the course. Furthermore, the course doesn’t have to be designed to be spectator friendly, since it’s not like Masters Worlds ever has a significant number of spectators.
See the full lap video below, complete with virtual barriers (available in 1080p HD). Stay tuned to cxmagazine.com for coverage of the racing.