by Drew Coleman
Cyclocross Nationals has not let me down.
I came to screen "State of Cyclocross," which was shot at 2018 Version 1 in Reno. The screening event was a huge success—sold out in days and the panel of cyclocross dignitaries took what the film puts out there and went even further.
Nationals has become something of a playground to explore new things, make contacts and capture our nation’s best. I shot 98 percent of the time with one lens, a Sony 85mm f1.4 G Master, and simply zoomed with the legs. And that was no easy task this year.
That being said, no one was prepared for what Louisville had in store.
What was mainly rideable in the first half of Nationals Week, became sloppy, slippery, then heavy soul-sucking mud. The course was very difficult before the rains came, but the steady moisture kept the grounds of Joe Creason Park the consistency of wet cement and turned the course into what is arguably the hardest course we have ever seen stateside.
The only number you need to know is 11.5—the pressure Katie Compton rode, the lowest in her career. Most of the riders I spoke with said it was the toughest course they had ever raced.
And what makes for the most difficult of conditions for the riders, makes for the best conditions for the photographers. There was no shortage of epic on Saturday and Sunday.
In fact, Saturday may have been the most difficult day of all, as the course conditions changed considerably from morning 'til dusk, and the adjustments afforded the Elites—removal of a few hay bales and widening of the course to make sections rideable—hadn’t yet happened. I don’t know that I have ever seen that much suffer in my own racing and film career.
I will say this about Louisville, they certainly know how to put on a cyclocross race.