The city of Austin and Cadence Sports have been preparing for the 2015 Cyclocross National Championships since they were announced in February 2012, with USA Cycling’s decision to return, at least temporarily, to the one-year-per-location format we haven’t seen since Napa in 2002, when Jonathan Page won his first of three consecutive Cyclocross National Championships and BMC road pro Tejay van Garderen was winning the 13-14 Junior Men’s title. That’s a long time ago.
The organizers have been planning the course, held in Zilker Park, and a few days ago the group released a preliminary course map on Facebook, as seen below:
At first glance, the course looks to have a little bit of everything, with a long paved start/finish, a sand pit, two sets of stairs, barriers, rail road ties, and a “wood ramp” that hopefully will be less controversial than the flyovers at Providence. For the non-bunnyhoppers, there’s the potential for quite a few dismounts.
Of course the venue and layout features an expo and team area, which are centrally located (unlike in Boulder), and the course, although not quite a clover leaf pattern, appears to do a relatively good job of bringing the racers back to spectators several times throughout a lap.
One observer pointed out that there’s a potential of 16 different curb crossings on the course, but we haven’t inspected the shoulders of the roads and suspect that if curbs are present they’ll be well sand bagged for the racing (winners of the non-championship “B” races will be invited to lie next to them in their new jerseys).
Racers expecting a dry and balmy event should not invest purely in file treads. As we pointed out last January, Austin, while typically warmer than Boulder, on average receives 340% more precipitation in January than Boulder. And we all saw how muddy racing in Boulder could be.
The promoter has said regarding the course that there’s “still quite a bit of plug and play, so please no ‘Where are the restrooms?’ comments.”
What do you think of the course?