One of the two UCI races being held in the U.S. this weekend is the US Open of Cyclocross at Valmont Park in Boulder. Valmont Park is the dedicated bike park just outside downtown Boulder that hosted the 2014 Cyclocross Nationals.

A Boulder-based event has been part of the UCI schedule for years now. The old Boulder Cup was the predecessor to the event, featuring the UCI Colorado Classic at Boulder Reservoir and the Boulder Cup at various venues.

The Event

The US Open of Cyclocross was started in 2014 by Without Limits, a Boulder-based event production company, after the two Boulder Cup race directors retired.

“Our goal starting in 2014 was a three-year vision of creating a development pipeline for emerging talent in the country,” said race director Lance Panigutti. “This season the vision has finally been realized with two full days of UCI Junior Men, UCI U23 Men and Elite Female and Male races. There’s so much talent in the country, but we need to get them racing each other head-to-head more often to prepare them for overseas competition.”

As Panigutti mentioned, the weekend’s schedule will bring the top young talent to Boulder to square off against one another. Full start lists are provided below.

Valmont will be Nationals ready. © Dejan Smaic / Sportif Images

Valmont Bike Park is the home of the 2017 US Open of Cyclocross © Dejan Smaic / Sportif Images

Every cyclocross race develops its own flavor over time. Cyclocross Magazine asked Panigutti what makes the US Open of Cyclocross unique.

“The Colorado community,” he said. “We have such a strong junior development scene here that really gets to showcase all the hard work by the coaches and club leaders that are so passionate about the sport.  I have no problem making the claim that Colorado has the best junior development scene in the entire country.  It’s not just about the results on the national and international scene, it’s about getting kids on bikes and making them fall in love with cyclocross.”

The Course

The event takes place at the Valmont Bike Park, which has a mix of mountain bike tracks and cyclocross features. There are different course layouts for Saturday and Sunday, but they include a combination of sandpits, the iconic 5280′ Run-Up, Pete (Webber)’s Plunge and the famed Cody Kaiser stairs.

Charlie Hough crashing on the off-camber in the D2 Collegiate race. © Matt Lasala

Features at Valmont proved tricky for some riders at 2014 U.S. Nationals. © Matt Lasala

The two layouts are new for 2017. The Saturday course is being called “The Flume,” because it features more climbing and a wind-y descent called “The Corkscrew.”

2017 US Open of Cyclocross Saturday course map. photo: courtesy

2017 US Open of Cyclocross Saturday course map. photo: courtesy

Sunday’s course is dubbed “The Glade Runner,” because of its increased use of the grassy glades in the southern part of the park. Said Panigutti, “Sunday’s course caters to the rider with better turning skills and punchy power.”

2017 US Open of Cyclocross Sunday course map. photo: courtesy

2017 US Open of Cyclocross Sunday course map. photo: courtesy

The Racers

The top cyclocross talent in the U.S. is splitting its weekend between Gloucester out east and Boulder out west. Both venues have a C2 designation for both races, so proximity appears to be the primary influence on where riders are racing this weekend.

Based on UCI points, the Women’s field is headed up by Courtenay McFadden (Pivot Cycles p/b DNA Cycling) and Caroline Mani (Van Dessel Factory Racing), who will be making the short trip up from Colorado Springs. Other riders ranked in the top 100 include Sunny Gilbert (Van Dessel Factory Racing), Sofia Gomez-Villafane (Pivot p/b DNA Cycling) and Rebecca Gross (Zero D Racing).

Caroline Mani (Van Dessel Factory Team) puts the power down on Sunday. 2017 Charm City Cross © M. Colton / Cyclocross Magazine

Caroline Mani (Van Dessel Factory Team) heads up the Women’s field in boulder. 2017 Charm City Cross © M. Colton / Cyclocross Magazine

The Men’s field is headed up by Jamey Driscoll (Donnelly Cycling) and Michael van den Ham (Garneau-Easton). Other top 100 riders include Allen Krughoff (Allen Krughoff Racing), Garry Millburn (Speedvagen / MAAP) of Australia and Yannick Eckmann.

Jamey Driscoll (Donnelly) stays focused during early evening racing. 2017 KMC Cross Fest Day 1 (Friday) © J. Curtes / Cyclocross Magazine

Jamey Driscoll (Donnelly) is one of the top men in Boulder this weekend. 2017 KMC Cross Fest Day 1 (Friday) © J. Curtes / Cyclocross Magazine

All three members of the U23 Men’s podium from Hartford Nationals will be in Boulder. Lance Haidet (Donnelly Cycling), Gage Hecht (Alpha Bicycle Co. – Groove Subaru) and Maxx Chance (EVOL Racing) will be joined by Ross and Grant Ellwood (Boulder Cycle Sport), Denzel Stephenson (EVOL Racing) and Brannan Fix (Alpha Bicycle Co. – Groove Subaru).

Lance Haidet and Anthony Clark jockeyed for position throughout Saturday's race. Anthony Clark wins 2017 WSCXGP Day 1. © V. Sama / Cyclocross Magazine

Lance Haidet will be heading up last year’s U23 podium from Nationals. Anthony Clark wins 2017 WSCXGP Day 1. © V. Sama / Cyclocross Magazine

Full start lists for the four UCI races are below.

The Schedule

Saturday 

(All times Mountain Time Zone)

Junior Men – 1:10 p.m.
U23 Men – 2:00 p.m.
Elite Women: 3:10 p.m
Elite Men: 4:20 p.m.

Sunday

Junior Men – 1:20 p.m.
U23 Men – 2:00 p.m.
Elite Women – 3:20 p.m.
Elite Men – 4:30 p.m.

More info: withoutlimits.co

Elite Women Start List - 2017 US Open of Cyclocross

FirstLastHome CityStateAge
DanielleArmanBoulderCO27
AmyBeiselColorado SpringsCO33
CaitlinBernsteinOaklandCA28
KatieClousePark CityUT16
MarsaDanielSeattleWA38
AnnaDorovskikhBoulderCO26
JennaDowneyAtlantaGA32
Anna KatrinaEngelstedBoulderCO29
LeslieEthridgeBoulderCO27
HeidiFranzSeattleWA22
ChristaGhentLyonsCO27
SunnyGilbertEllisvilleMO38
SofiaGomez VillafaneHeber CityUT23
GeorgiaGouldFort CollinsCO37
RebeccaGrossGolderCO37
JoleneHollandAustinTX27
erinhuckBoulderCO36
LauraJeddelohSeattleWA26
NicoleJorgensonBoiseID25
DanaKuperSan FranciscoCA32
MariaLarkinChicagoIL30
KristenLeganBoulderCO31
AvaLilleyBendOR15
SuzieLivingstonFort CollinsCO31
ShannonMallorySeattleWA19
Caroline ManiColorado SpringsCO30
CourtenayMcFaddenBellinghamwWA32
MeredithMillerBoulderCO43
FionaMorrisLane CoveAust32
MeghanNewlinBouderCO38
TurnerRamsayRutlandVT17
LaurelRathbunMonumentCO21
PetraSchmidtmannNederlandCO16
AshleyZoernerHighlands RanchCO18

Elite Men Start List - 2017 US Open of Cyclocross

FirstLastHome CityStateAge
WilliamAllenGoldenCO37
ChrisBaddickLyonsCO29
KevinBradford-ParishspokaneWA35
JamesCoatsBendOR53
CodyCuppDurangoCO23
KevinDayFarmingtonUT38
JoshDireenDenverCO25
ZacharyDolzaniLakewoodCO31
SamuelDolzaniBoulderCO28
SpencerDowningBoulderCO22
JamesDriscollPark CityUT30
YannickEckmannBoulderCO23
MarkFlisPark CityUT34
EricFossellColorado SpringsCO35
ChrisGanterBoiseID38
MattHemstreetDenverCO41
SteveHindmanLos AltosCA50
JacobHuizengachicagoIL31
JaysonJacobsBoulderCO32
KyleJohnsonDenverCO28
CodyKaiserEl Dorado HillsCA26
BradenKappiusBoulderCO30
AllenKrughoffBoulderCO33
SkylerMackeytulsaOK21
IanMcPhersonBoulderCO21
GarryMillburnLane CoveAust30
JeremyOstrowskiConiferCO37
TerolPursellGoldenCO29
RyanRinnSan FranciscoCA35
FernandoRiverosAustinTX29
AllanSchroederBoiseID25
KeeganSwensonHeber CityUT23
NickThomasPhoenixAZ23
Michaelvan den HamAbbotsfordBC25
AaronVaughnBoulderCO33
TimberWeissRenoNV28
JoshWhitneySalt Lake CityUT36
AlexWildLos GatosCA25

U23 Men Start List - 2017 US Open of Cyclocross

FirstLastHome CityStateAge
JonathanAndersonDurangoCO21
HarrisonBuckleyDurangoCO19
MaxxChanceBoulderCO21
RossEllwodBoulderCO18
GrantEllwoodBoulderCO21
BrannanFixFort CollinsCO20
BrentFranzeFullertonCA18
GarrettGercharBoulderCO21
LanceHaidetSan Luis ObispoCA19
GageHechtParkerCO19
WileyMeltonBoulderCO18
DrewSotebeerParkerCO17
DenzelStephensonBoulderCO18
JackTannerBoulderCO19
NevinWhittemoreBoulderCO21

Junior Men Start List - 2017 US Open of Cyclocross

FirstLastHome CityStateAge
TorinBickmoreLongmontCO16
SamBrownEagleCO17
TylerClarkKing CityON17
ScottFunstonMaple ValleyWA17
BenjaminGomez VillafaneScotts ValleyCA17
BenjaminJohnsonFort CollinsCO17
HenryJonesBendOR17
ColeLimpachOmahaNE16
ConorMartinKelownaBC16
NathanPawlakBoulderCO16
TylerReynoldsPellaIA15
MaxRitzowEugeneOR16
CampbellWatsonLouisvilleCO17
CalderWoodAnacortesWA17