The 2019 USA Cycling Cyclocross Nationals will be held at Ft. Steilacoom Park in Lakewood, Washington.
With December rapidly approaching, there is no time like now to start thinking about the final run-in to the run-ups. We have not yet seen an official course map, but thanks to enterprising Seattle-based Junior racer and vlogger Finn Westover, we do have our first course preview video that gives us our first real look at the venue.
Westover has been riding bikes since he was 5, and this year he races in the MFG Cyclocross Junior 13-14 category. With some inspiration from Kerry Werner’s popular vlogs, Westover started his own YouTube channel and produces race weekend recaps ala Werner. The channel is called Team Booger Racing, which is a group that includes Finn, his dad Steve and another Junior, Liam.
This year’s Nationals course will drop stakes in Ft. Steilacoom Park in Lakewood, Washington. The park is the site of a former Army fort that produced several officers in the Civil War. The park is home to a trail network, sports fields, a dog park and an RC aircraft area.
While speculating about elevations changes on Nats preview videos is as old as the medium itself, it’s obvious from the video that the course contains a substantial amount of climbing. Soon after the start, riders find themselves in fresh-cut trail that leads to the first run-up. Westover gave us a good look at the pro-only section as he scrambled up the run-up, which gives a good indication of the grade.
Once pros reach the top, they’ll be treated to a freshly cut descent before another run up into a gravel trail, but the rest of us will mercifully enter the gravel directly. After a quick switchback, riders descend back toward the start on more freshly cut trail.
Back on the lowland, riders transition onto gravel in a turn into pit one before heading back into…. another run-up. On the high ground, riders follow the park’s trail system to a long, open and fast descent.
With one more freshly cut descent back to ground level riders hit pit two before some 180 degree turns before a stretch of sand. After the sand, riders head into more prairie trail and come back onto the pavement for the finishing straight.
Got all that? If you don’t, Westover’s YouTube page includes the course preview video below and footage from the MFG Cyclocross Natz Practice race to give a sense of how the course flows.