We helped spread the word to get as many qualified proposals as possible, and now USA Cycling has picked through all the applications and announced the five finalists for host city of the 2019 and 2020 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships on social media. Bend, Louisville, Ogden, San Diego and Tacoma are all still in the running for the two events.
After last winter’s Cyclocross National Championships in Asheville, NC and this January’s Nationals in Hartford, CT, the event moves to Reno for 2018. After Reno, chances look likely that one of the next two Nationals will stay out in the West with only one of the five final host cities being on the East Coast.
We take a look at the five finalists:
Bend is a repeat venue, having hosted the Nationals back-to-back in 2009 and 2010, the last December Nationals. Without a doubt, the Pacific Northwest scene is large with the kind of weather to produce epic racing conditions. The town of Bend has historically been supportive to top-level cyclocross events.
Tacoma, Washington, near Seattle, could provide a championship for the mudders. The Seattle area hosted four Nationals since 1987, most recently in Seattle in 1996. Both Bend and Tacoma are in areas where most cyclocross events are not USA Cycling sanctioned races, making it more challenging for local racers to line up with top starting positions.
Louisville was host to the Cyclocross World Championships in 2013 and the Eva Bandman Park provided a great, ’cross-specific race course worthy of the world’s best racers. The same location is being used this coming weekend for the 12th Annual Papa John’s Storm Eva Bandman Halloween Cross event.
Ogden (and Utah in general) has never hosted a National Cyclocross Championships or UCI cyclocross event, but they did have the TRP Cup cyclocross race for the last two years and the state is no stranger to heated battles between top cyclocross racers. There are also quite a few cycling companies that have their headquarters in or near Ogden, including TRP, Scott, Volagi and ENVE. The current Mayor of Ogden is known as the “Biking Mayor” and cycling of all types is a big part of the Ogden “vibe.”
San Diego? Cyclocross Nationals in the Nation’s eighth biggest city in a semi-arid climate with an average January daytime temperature of 65 degrees? It’s a possibility, and if it happens, you’ll likely need to pack the sunscreen. California has hosted the Cyclocross National Championships many times in the past, but all were in Northern California. The last two Golden State iterations delivered one of the wettest Nationals ever in Napa in 2002 and one of the most storied Nationals in San Francisco in 1999. If selected, a San Diego event would be the first time Nationals went further south in the state than Scotts Valley (near Santa Cruz). Traditionalists may scoff at sunny Southern California location, but the location would be close to large population of cyclists and likely present fewer weather surprises. Weather or not that’s a good thing is up for debate (pun intended).
Where would you like to see the next two USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships after Reno? Take the poll below, but note that USA Cycling’s decision is not a popularity contest or member-voting decision.
Where would you like to see the USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships after Reno?
Without any inside knowledge, our in-house odds-makers give the best chances to Louisville and Ogden. We’ll find out in January.