U.S. National Cyclocross Championship Course Tough On Competitors, Great For Spectators
Kansas City, Kan (Oct. 15, 2007) – The course for the 2007 U.S. Cyclocross National Championships promises to be challenging for competitors but perfect for spectators.
The nearly two-mile-long course through Wyandotte County Park in Kansas City, Kan., was unveiled today on the race’s official website, www.kccrossnationals.com. Online registration for the Dec. 13-16 National Championships continues through Dec. 8.
Race Director Bill Marshall of KLM Marketing Solutions had a solid blueprint for the national championship course design, having staged several UCI races in the 360-acre park, which features rolling terrain in the scenic setting of hillside oak and lakeside sycamore trees.
“We wanted to make the course very hard,” Marshall said. “Cyclocross is tough, no matter what. Our intention was to make this course both technical and fast.”
The signature element is a pair of back-to-back stair sections, each 40-feet in length, that come about a quarter-mile from the finish line.
“You’ll run up the first set of stairs, get back on your bike for a brief time, then dismount and run up the second set,” Marshall said. “This is going to be crucial as we found out in Providence last year at nationals. They had two run-ups close to the finish and it makes it very interesting if it is a tight race.”
Another crucial element of the course design was to make it as spectator-friendly as possible, Marshall said. Nearly the entire course is viewable from several vantage points. A barrier section, positioned between a pair of heated spectator tents, will also be a prime viewing spot.
Special attention was given to the start area to ensure that competitors who do not have the most prime starting positions have the opportunity to move up quickly before the course narrows.
“That first grass section is extremely wide open and slightly uphill as it leads into the first sweeping right-hand turn,” Marshall said. “We tried to make it as close as possible to the start you would see on a UCI course. Eventually, though, there are a few turns to slow it up and create opportunities to get away.”
Where the course doubles back on itself in several places could also prove particularly tricky, he said.
“This course has some decent hills – not the steep ones like you saw in Providence for nationals last year – but ones that are going to be tough in all conditions,” Marshall said. “They’re long uphills so if it’s icy, they’ll be particularly treacherous. If it’s dry, the course will be rippin’ fast.”
Racers will also have to negotiate a section of the course that passes close to a pond – one that was covered in ice when four-time national cyclocross champion Steve Tilford crashed into it during a race last year. Incredibly, Tilford recovered from the frigid plunge to come back and win.
“We’re officially labeling that pond as the ‘No Tilly Zone’ this year to recognize that feat,” Marshall said.
Racers will have the unique opportunity to preview the national championship course on Sunday, Oct. 28 at the Boulevard Cup. For more information regarding this race, go to www.kcbike.com.
There is no admission fee for the U.S. Cyclocross National Championships. Parking is also free, but only in designated areas. There is no fee for pit access. Official race apparel is on sale through the event’s official website, www.kccrossnationals.com.
ATHLETE REGISTRATION: www.kccrossnationals.com/NEW_SITE/Registration/index.html
About U.S. National Cyclocross Championships
The best racers in American cyclocross will fight for the right to wear this year’s stars and stripes jersey at the U.S. National Cyclocross Championships December 13 – 16, 2007 in Kansas City, Kan. Four days of epic racing will take place on a technical, challenging and fast course for junior, collegiate, master and elite athletes from all over the country. The event venue will offer spectators multiple vantage points on the action, an Expo area, kids activities and beer garden. The event is sanctioned by USA Cycling and hosted by KLM Marketing Solutions.