We’ve had our own polls, and popular opinion has shifted over the years. After initial support of a January Nationals way back in 2009 in our first early poll, since USA Cycling gave it a try starting in 2012, more of you would prefer the USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships to move back to December.
Our own (unscientific) polls over the years reflect that shift (you may have to vote to show results):
Launched January 2009:
January Nats - Do you care?
- That blows. I'll stop going. (17%, 42 Votes)
- Sweet, an incentive to not get fat over the holidays. Sign me up. (42%, 105 Votes)
- No matter, I don't go anyway. (10%, 24 Votes)
- Whatever is best for the pros or the sport. I'll adapt. (32%, 79 Votes)
Total Voters: 250
Launched December 2015:
How do you feel about January National Championships, now that we're entering the sixth year?
- Good move, it's better in January. (30%, 929 Votes)
- Move it back to December. (45%, 1,405 Votes)
- Split it. Amateurs in Dec, UCI categories in Jan. (18%, 555 Votes)
- Doesn't matter, I won't make the trip either way. (7%, 215 Votes)
Total Voters: 3,104
Several reasons for the move of the National Championships to January, starting with 2012 in Verona, Wisconsin, were cited in the official announcement:
- A 2009 survey of USA Cycling members supported the move
- To “better align the event with the international calendar”
- To “better support the U.S. athletes who are training to compete in the world championships slated for Louisville, KY later in January”
The announcement, although not showing actual numbers, cited “a large majority came back and said they would support moving the event to January” and that was consistent with our own initial poll above.
Since that move, the support seems to have waned, as reflected in our more recent poll above, launched over a year ago, and even perhaps in participation numbers, which USA Cycling has acknowledged were down in Hartford.
Perhaps training during the holidays, and taking work or school vacation time right after a traditional holiday break, has been more difficult in practice than many thought it would be.
The growing preference for a move back to December also includes stars and stripes-decorated athletes. Perpetual Masters National Champion Pete Webber told Cyclocross Magazine in Asheville the move made sense for 2012 and 2013 due to Louisville (when many Masters would race Masters Worlds in Louisville), and when the UCI categories would race Louisville Worlds in 2013, but that it was time to consider moving it back to December, something he and teammate Brandon Dwight would personally prefer.
Three-time National Champion Todd Wells skipped participating after the January move until this year, while ultra-decorated Masters National Champion Dan Norton has skipped the event after being a mainstay on top of the podium. Former cyclocross pro Andy Jacques-Maynes also cited the January date as the reason he’s skipped the event for many years, after picking up a Baby Masters title in Kansas City.
Now USA Cycling, as it still debates locations and venues beyond Reno, is looking for your input on which month Nationals should take place in, and this poll, is open to all: Nationals racers and not, USA Cycling members and not.
— USA Cycling (@usacycling) February 3, 2017
Speak up, weigh in, give your input and especially if you get your wish, join the fun at Nationals.
You can take the full survey here or below.