A brand new course in Fengtai Changxindian, located in an outlying suburb of Beijing, awaits international cyclocross racers as the second stop of the 2016 Qiansen Trophy UCI C1 Cyclocross Races. With quite a bit of vertical, less wooded singletrack, a side-by-side double flyover and some dinosaur-themed fun, the second race is sure to offer a different experience for racers and spectators on Saturday.
At the starter’s signal, riders will have a short paved section to compose themselves and shuffle for position before a right-hand turn leads quickly into the first of several wooden bridges. Racers then cross a road and attack a punchy climb through ornamental gardens. Purpose-built hardpack dirt and gravel trails bob and weave up the hill with twists and corners that will encourage aggressive out-the-saddle bursts rather than a sustained seated power effort.
Good descenders will be rewarded as the race turns back towards the starting arena, popping over the previous climb on a short flyover and plunging back over the road and onto the flat. A double stair/ramp feature forces riders to dismount for the first time and leads into an open section with good passing opportunities, which riders will want to make the most of on such a tight, corner-heavy course.
It’s not long before competitors are sent back up onto the hillside, again encountering similar short inclines and rollercoaster descents. While essentially it’s a case of climbing a hill and returning back down it, riders say the course design feels much more dynamic and rolling than the profile would suggest. Our prediction is that it won’t necessarily favor strong outright climbers and descenders but all-around racers.
Once again racers cross the road, and then a wooden roller deposits riders back onto the flat for a few short straights before a block of constant, very tight zigzags with 180 degree corners. Acceleration and low-speed cornering skills will be essential.
This is one of the few areas with good visibility of other riders, and the stretch is deceptively long before a couple of longer, more open turns. This is where we may see some last-minute attacks, with the finish line just around the corner on the final straight.
Dry conditions again will make for a fast race and the smooth surface will be a welcome relief after the rough conditions in Yanqing. Rain looks unlikely and the parched dirt surface will likely absorb anything that may fall before race day. Once again the Qiansen Trophy has provided an interesting course in a unique setting. There’s a palpable positive vibe among racers. We should see some exciting racing this Saturday in China (Friday night in the U.S.).
Stay tuned for full coverage and race results.
2016 Qiansen Trophy Cyclocross Race #2 Course Preview – Fengtai Changxindian: