Crowds have tripled in size since the 2006 Jingle Cross. photo: courtesy
A growing Thanksgiving tradition for Midwest cyclocrossers and pro racers across the nation has been to flock like turkeys to Jingle Cross in Iowa City, Iowa for a three-day festival of cyclocross, UCI points, mud, cold and holiday festivities, all for a good cause. The event, held since 2004, raises money for the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital.
Jingle Cross always delivers crashes. See this 2008 cyclocross crash video on Mt. Krumpit
Promoter John Meehan lives in Washington state, but used to live in Iowa City and work for the hospital, even from Washington he continues to promote the well-loved event and has grown it each year. Now with two UCI C2 races and one C1 race, it’s one of the most important weekends of cyclocross in the US.
For the three days of racing, preregistration approached 1200 riders, with over 50 Elite men and 25 Elite women lining up to chase UCI points and attempt to descend the infamous, treacherous Mt. Krumpit. Included in the men are Todd Wells, Troy Wells, Jamey Driscoll, Ryan Trebon, Barry Wicks, Chris Jones, Zach Macdonald, Tristen Schouten and Tour de France 10th place finisher Chris Horner.
On the women’s side, Meredith Miller, Amanda Miller, Nancy Duke, Teal Stetson-Lee, Samantha Schneider, Kaitlyn Anntoneau, Kari Studley, Emma Best, Kelly Benjamin and Amanda Carey will all be toeing the line.
The Grinch heckles 2009 winner Todd Wells. photo: courtesy
Meehan has worked hard to not only make his event first class, but also showcase some of the fun and novelty of cyclocross. Dave Towle and John Lefler are announcing the race, MUSCO lighting will be providing illumination for Friday night’s first races, and a brand new flyover, called Summit Plummet, will be unveiled. On the fun side is The Grinch’s Lair, a scale house normally used for livestock weigh-ins which has been converted into a green lair with green christmas lights, complete with Jim Carrey quotes from The Grinch movie and the music from the soundtrack in the background. Meehan continues the theme with his version of a spiral called the “Whoville Whirl” and, of course, the infamous, crash-inducing Mt. Krumpit, his version of the Dr. Seuss Mt. Crumpit, a collossal hill that riders will be tackling every day.
The Grinch has a prominent role in Jingle Cross 2010. photo: Rojer on flickr
Stay tuned for race coverage and photos of the racing that begins Friday.