Chris Jones' laps a rider and hops a tree on his way to the SSCXWC 2011 title. © Kevin White

Chris Jones' laps a rider and hops a tree on his way to the SSCXWC 2011 title. © Kevin White

by Evan Schmitt

This weekend, world class cyclocross racing returns to Los Angeles, California for the CXLA race weekend. The organizers were forced to change location at the last minute to Los Angeles State Historic Park.

Former national champion Tim Johnson (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com), Chris Jones (Rapha-Focus) and Canadian National Champion Chris Sheppard (Rocky Mountain Bicycles/Shimano) will be favorites in the men’s races. Johnson finally broke his 2011 curse last weekend by taking a win in Iowa at Jingle Cross. Jones took top honors two weeks ago at the Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships in San Francisco. Belgian Ben Berden (Ops Ale-Stoemper) will also be looking for a win to add to his American campaign.

Meredith Miller represents the cause and takes the win in Gloucester © marcoquezada.com/nyvelocity

Here, Meredith Miller took the win in Gloucester in 2010, will she take CXLA? © marcoquezada.com/nyvelocity

On the women’s side, Meredith Miller (Cal Giant/Specialized), Julie Krasniak (Rapha-Focus) and Sue Butler (River City Bicycles/Ridley) will be battling for the win. Miller is on a hot streak winning two of the races last weekend in Iowa at Jingle Cross. Krasniak won the Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships two weeks ago in San Francisco. 2011 Junior Road World Championship team member Alexis Ryan (Team SoCalCross) will be a local racer to look out for.