Last year's Junior Ninja Turtle © Marcia Seiler

Last year’s Junior Ninja Turtle © Marcia Seiler

Papa John’s Storm Eva Bandman Halloween Cross gives the cyclocross scene this year’s first glimpse of the 2013 World Cyclocross Championship Course.  While Sven and Bart haven’t signed up for Storm Eva Bandman yet, with some great prizes at stake, maybe we’ll see a Belgian or two in costume.  Check out the photos for some raceable costume ideas and register for OVCX #6, Papa John’s Eva Bandman Halloween Cross along the Ohio River at Louisville’s Eva Bandman Cyclocross Park-home of Louisville 2013 Worlds.

The seeds of both Storm Eva Bandman and Louisville 2013 were planted on an abandoned golf course at an upstart race called Storm the Greens in 2005, which joined the OVCX Series a year later.  Most will remember Storm the Greens for the 2007 debut of The Green Monster.  Big, green, ugly, and unprecedented the Green Monster flyover grabbed the ‘cross world’s attention at the USGP Derby City Cup setting the stones for Eva Bandman Cyclocross Park and the upcoming Louisville 2013 World Cyclocross Championships.  This year, in bold contrast to the handful of locals who showed up to race in 2005, Storm Eva Bandman expects nearly 500 racers from all over the Ohio Valley.

While Eva Bandman Park doesn’t sit on the side of the Koppenberg nor is it a seaside gem like Gloucester, the greats of U.S. ’cross have laid tracks there: Compton, Gould, Nash, Powers, Johnson, and Trebon.  Nys, Albert, Wellens, Pauwels, and hopefully Stybar will race it in 2013.  Imagine playing baseball in Yankee Stadium or hoops in Hinkle Fieldhouse of Hoosiers fame.  For a ’crosser, it’s like that between the tape at Eva Bandman.  This is your chance to race at the World Championship venue.

According to race promoter Bob Bobrow, Storm Eva’s course is challenging, super fun to race, and great for spectators featuring: a stone-step run up nicknamed Stonehenge, a railroad-tie-step run up, a couple of hair-raising drops, cambered grass sections, wooded trails, sand, and a centralized road section for a Worlds-feel finish.

Don’t forget your costume.  Papa John’s Storm Eva Bandman Halloween Cross doubles as a Halloween Party. The best costumes will win gift certificates from ProFormance Fitness.  You’ll get extra points for racing in costume.   Oh yeah, one rule, no capes.

Race-day amenities include three local gourmet food trucks, including: Black Rock Grille serving up the best burgers and frites in Louisville; The Traveling Kitchen with Korean-inspired burritos, tacos, and dumplings; as well as the Louisville Dessert Truck with sweet tooth satisfying brownies, cookies, and other homemade confections.

The pit at Eva Bandman has three spigots in a raised-gravel bed that drains like a sink. Add Papa John’s Racing Team’s power washers, and you’ve got a PDX-ready ’cross pit. There’s even a separate hose-off area for post-race clean up.

Other nice-to-haves at Storm Eva Bandman include a mechanic for last-minute bike issues (brought to you by Clarksville Schwinn), complementary massages courtesy of Elite Massage Therapy, professional race photography by Mountain Bike Hall of Famer Tom Moran, and more.

Storm Eva Bandman is the sixth race in the OVCX Series.  If you are a budding junior, there’s no better place to shred than Storm Eva Bandman.  Being part of the OVCX Series, Storm Eva’s junior fields are stacked. Check USAC’s rankings or for the proof and get signed up at  Juniors race for only $5.