Sure, there’s plenty more cyclocross racing on the horizon with the 2016 Cyclocross National Championships and of course the World Championships at the end of January 2016. But the end of the calendar year has us thinking back over the last 12 months and reflecting on those moments that had the cyclocross community talking.
Here, we look back over some of 2015’s main events, our favorite moments from the last year and the tech that shaped this season thus far.
Nationals Postponed in Austin
By the time Saturday, January 10, 2015, rolled around, everyone was eagerly anticipating a showdown in the 2015 National Championship’s main events the following day. Throughout the week prior, concerns over the course design that had swirled about leading up to the event seemed to vanish. Most ended up thinking the track worthy of a national championships, with one of the course’s designers, Pete Webber, taking the win in his own master’s category.
That was before the rain.
When Sunday, January 11, 2015, did come about, Austin woke to rain-soaked grounds. Cyclocross fans rejoiced. But the seemingly unknown before then Austin Heritage Tree Foundation did not. They had apparently spent the night prior shaking the trees at Austin’s Parks and Recreation Department demanding a cancellation of Sunday’s racing over concern for the root zone of Zilker Park’s Heritage Trees.
And it nearly worked.
Sunday’s marquee races, initially thought cancelled altogether by some, were postponed to noon Monday, January 12, 2015, the following day. Of course, this left racers and fans with previously scheduled travel plans in a bind. And while some found means to stay an extra day, some simply had to skip the final day of racing.
It seemed everyone turned and pointed fingers. Austin should have run a test event, the Austin Parks Department should have known the product they were getting in hosting a national-caliber cyclocross race, USA Cycling should have communicated better that Sunday morning and acted quicker to find a resolution.
In the end, the final day of racing happened and national champions were crowned. But lessons were learned at the expense of fans and racers alike.