Earlier this year, Cyclocross Magazine looked at USA Cycling’s new Landscape and Cyclocross guide. The document provided advice for maintaining good relationships with local communities and mitigating disturbances to parks after races. The document was put together partly in the aftermath of the 2015 Nationals in Austin where Sunday’s Elite races were pushed back to Monday because of muddy conditions at Zilker Park.

A healthy amount of rain on Friday guaranteed Joe Creason Park would be waterlogged for the weekend’s races, and with pre-ride scheduled for Friday afternoon, plenty of muddy sections popped up. ’Cross riders were obviously excited, but the muddy conditions meant additional measures would need to be taken to re-seed the grounds once Monday morning rolled around.

Tristan Cowie runs through the muddy ditch before the finishing straight. 2017 Derby City Cup. © D. Perker / Cyclocross Magazine

Weather conditions created fun cyclocross conditions for Tristan Cowie and other racers at Joe Creason Park. 2017 Derby City Cup. © D. Perker / Cyclocross Magazine

Local news coverage from Louisville after the weekend’s Derby City Cup and Pan-American Championships highlights the importance of thinking about the advice offered in the USA Cycling document.

WDRB, a local Louisville news station was out at Joe Creason Park during the weekend and again on Monday for a story about the event focused on the impacts on the park. Right from the start, the story highlights an unavoidable reality: no matter how good relationships are with local communities, attention on the event may not be completely positive—and the devious media like their attention-grabbing headlines.
WDRB 2017 Pan-Am Championship story headline

And for visuals, stories are going to portray the most eye-catching parts of the course, in this case, it was the mud pit that formed where the power washers were located, at the top of the climb out of the valley.

The video segment also features views from the SkyCam.

The interviews for the story highlight the importance of having good relationships with local authorities. Parks Department representative Marty Storch presented the event as a positive addition to the community and demonstrated control of managing the park after the race. From the article:

The department said it knew the races would have an impact on the park.

“There’s a little bit of scarring that happens,” said Marty Storch with Metro Parks. “With any major event, you’re going to have issues with where people walk, where people ride, where people bike.”

Despite the damage, the city believes it was a positive event for the community.

“People from all over the world were in Louisville, Kentucky, at Joe Creason Park,” Storch said. “The zoo benefitted from it. Our hotels benefitted from it.”

Storch also went on to say there is a comprehensive plan for reseeding the grounds in the coming weeks. This is in line with the Landscape and Cyclocross chapter on mitigation.

Muddy cyclocross conditions can create tough riding conditions on race day, and they can also be a challenge for organizers during the following week. This story from Louisville shows how cyclocross races may be presented in the media and highlights the importance of having local officials who are willing to stand up for the benefits of cyclocross. Building and maintaining these relationships is a key part of supporting the sport.

Stay tuned for our continuing coverage from Joe Creason Park in Louisville