One of the annual traditions of Cyclocross Magazine is reflecting back on a year filled with reviewing products and award those that struck us as the best of the best in the realms of cyclocross, gravel and cycling gear. Over the course of the next few weeks, we will be releasing all of the awards one day at a time. Be sure to keep checking back to see what products are most worth your hard-earned dollars. Issue 28 also has the Editors’ Awards and the Readers’ Choice awards, so be sure to order your backcopy today, which is also available on Uberflip, in the App Store on iTunes, and on Google Play for Android.
Today our Editor’s Awards go out to the best two races of the year: Domestic and International. While there were plenty of good races throughout the season, the choices were not too hard, and for the first time in the Editors’ Award history, both were taken (and very rightly earned) by the Elite Women.
Best Domestic Race: Elite Women’s Race at 2014 CLIF Bar CrossVegas
Constant lead changes, newcomers to the UCI field taking on tried and true veterans, dark horses elbowing their way in the top ten, and three big names of cyclocross fighting tooth-and-nail down to the finish line: CLIF Bar CrossVegas provided everything a spectator could want. While Meredith Miller, Katerina Nash and Katie Compton provided much of the excitement of the last few laps, there was not a section of the course that bored fans. No single American race of the 2014-15 season provided nearly as much tension, action, and perhaps small dash of spectator controversy to spice things up.
Best International Race: Elite Women’s 2015 World Championships
One of the few races to top CrossVegas belonged at Tabor in late January. Pauline Ferrand Prevot, Sanne Cant, Marianne Vos, Katerina Nash and Nikki Harris all had a major card to play in the World Championships. It was much like the battle of Nys and Stybar of 2014 only raised to the magnitude of five riders. If you’re heart wasn’t at the top of your throat with a minute left in the race, you probably should check your pulse. The whole course was on fire, with back row call-ups like Mical Dyck clawing their way through the deepest field.
Many races can create legends out of athletes, but the action at 2015 Elite Women’s World Championship will be a full legend in-and-of itself.