BEND, ORE. – A rag tag Cyclocross Magazine crew hit the icy Nationals time trial course this morning to shoot a preview video. Perhaps TT stands for “terribly treacherous,” and USAC officials and race organizers were scrambling to alter the route and make it as safe as possible. Overnight rains and cold temps turned the course from soft snow to crusty and icy, and the ruts were a challenge, to say the least. Large sections have been removed, the start moved from icy pavement directly to a subsequent section on a bike path, the one set of barriers were removed, and the start times pushed back by an hour to allow for more melting and course manipulation.
Many racers second-guessed their decisions to race the TT in order to land the best possible start position, instead opting to line up further back in the championship race. One woman who was in a Masters field of just nine racers said that with a worst case scenario of a second-row start, the time trial just wasn’t worth the risk.
The course will undoubtedly change throughout the day, and the snow covered ride could very well look completely different by tomorrow. But, tune in below to see what it looked like at 8am Wednesday morning:
I did the TT at 11:43 and it wasn't so bad. Much of the ice had melted, and with the most dangerous sections of the course removed it was possible to finish in a reasonable amount of time. Still had to run a bit more than I would have wanted, but it was not nearly as awful as it was at 8:30am.