07 January 2014

2014 USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships Guide

Your Guide to CX Nats

Are you planning on racing or attending the cyclocross nationals in Boulder, Colorado this week? If your answer is yes, and it should be yes, here is a quick quide to attending the race. Below you will find the event schedule, course map, venue map, parking map, packet pick-up times, startlists, special events and parties, where to watch live online, plus more information to enjoy the week at Nationals. Also see the official website and list of race sponsors.

When is the race?

January 8-12, 2014. Yes there will be races beginning on Wednesday with various age groups and categories spread out across a busy week through Sunday afternoon when the really big show of Female and Male Elite racers take to a well-beaten course.

For an official schedule, please see: 2014 USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships race schedule

Highlights: (abbreviated for ease in planning)

Weds, Day 1 - morning: non-championship categories
Weds, Day 1 - afternoon: Industry Race, Mechanics Race, and Singlespeed

Thurs, Day 2 - morning: Male and Female Master 55, 60, 65, 70+
Thurs, Day 2 - afternoon: Female Master 40, 45, 50, Male Master 50

Fri, Day 3 - morning: Male 45 Cat 1/2/3, Female 30 Cat 1/2/3
Fri, Day 3 - morning/midday: Male and Female Juniors (all age categories 9-18 years)
Fri, Day 3 - afternoon (3:15pm): Collegiate Team Relay

Sat, Day 4 - morning: (9:00am) Male 40 1/2/3, Female 35 1/2/3
Sat, Day 4 - midday: Female Collegiate
Sat, Day 4 - afternoon: Male U23, Male 35 1/2/3, Male 30 1/2/3

Sun, Day 5 - morning: Male Collegiate
Sun, Day 5 - afternoon (1:30pm): Female Elite/U23/17+ Pro1/2/3
Sun, Day 5 - afternoon (2:45pm): Male Elite/19+ Pro1/2/3

Where is the race?

Boulder, Colorado - at Valmont Bike Park, 3160 Airport Rd, Boulder

Driving directions: into Boulder, Foothills parkway Hwy 137, turn east on Valmont Road, park will be on your left at Airport Rd junction.
Location of Valmont Park in Boulder CO  click to enlarge
Map of Boulder in Colorado  click to enlarge
Event Venue

There will be a large Expo at the event, along with beer tents, athlete zones, award tents, bike wash area, Shimano neutral support pit, Cycleops warm up tent, jumbotrons and plenty of porta-potties. Link to CX Nats Venue & Course Map.

As good as gold Event Venue Map (this one is worth printing out, or keeping live on your phone)

CX Nats Venue Map & Course Map   click to enlarge
Getting to the race - Event Parking and Transportation

There will be free public parking available for 2000 cars in a dirt lot north of the event site (carpooling is a good idea). Please obey the parking signs and follow the wonderful parking volunteers ready to guide you into place. There is a rider drop-off area on the west side of the park. There is also ADA parking available. Ride your bike; numerous bike paths lead to the event, also bus stops are located nearby (bus schedule).  Link to Official parking map for CX Nats (please do not park in team parking).

*There is major road work on Hwy 36 westbound from Denver into Boulder. Racers allow plenty of time for traffic as the freeway will be reduced to one-lane for miles.
Map of public parking, bus stops and bike paths to Cyclocross Nationals  click to enlarge
Now the public parking at the event is not what I would call exactly convenient, so wear good warm snow boots, and carry with you snacks and drink (there is food at the Expo area) and plenty of coats, hats and dry gloves if you are bringing children with you to the event. You will have to walk a few blocks and across fields to get to the event, allow 10-15 minutes to get in place as a fan.

If you are racing and need to collect your packet, allow plenty of time to collect your race packet from Gebhardt Volkswagen on 48th St. (see info and times below), and then park, and then warm-up, and then race. 

How can I race?

You had to register by last Friday to race, so if you didn't you will be spectating. All racers must have a 2014 annual race license through USA Cycling to compete. Read the eligibility, rules and call-up official USA Cycling rules.

This is an impressive comprehensive race/visitor guide, read it at: National CX Technical Guide

When and Where - Packet Pick-up and Registration

If you are racing, you must pick up your registration packet in advance, there is NO RACE DAY REGISTRATION. Packet pick-up location is at Gebhardt Volkswagon, 2470 49th St, Boulder, CO 80301. (get directions)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014: 2:00 pm - 6:00pm  Packet Pick-Up
Wednesday - Sunday, January 8-12, 2014: 8:00 am - 2:00pm  Packet Pick-Up 

Location of registration and packet pick-up at CX Nats - clocks away  click to enlarge
I need a Course Map

It's a doozy and guaranteed to be packed with run-ups, sand, barriers, steps, snow, frozen grass, cement, and dirt (make that mud depending on when you race). Here is the CX Nats Venue & Course Map.
Valmont Bike Park sign - there are lots of choices, but officials have laid out a fantastic course for 2014 CX Nats
Course Preview: Brandon Dwight's, of Boulder Cyclesport, course recon video.

See a video from the conditions on the course Tuesday (Jan 7th): 2014 Cyclocross Nationals Course Pre-Ride, featuring Pete Weber of Boulder Cycle Sport.

Course Set-up: They have been busy all week setting up the race course just for you.
How can I spectate?

Being a fan at a cyclocross race is free. Now that you have read through that lengthy Technical Guide, I will offer some highlights:
  • Practice your heckling lines
  • Find a fun group to stand next to
  • Wear warm shoes
  • Wear gloves that enable you to hold a beer in one hand and ring a cowbell in the other
  • It doesn't matter where you are when watching a CX race, but barriers or run-ups are more fun 
  • The largest crowds will be on Sunday afternoon
Cheering on the racers  ©Photo by Karen Rakestrawat Pedal Dancer®
How can I watch the race?

What if you live out of state and/or you are not strong enough to endure our 4-inches of fresh new snow and cold cold temperatures? Well you can gather with your laptop and rollers in your basement, or meet some friends in front of a large screen TV and watch online: USA Cycling is offering live viewing and so is Cyclocross Magazine.

Live race viewing schedule 2014 USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships USA Cyling Livestream
  • 11 a.m. MST – Juniors Men's 17-18 Race
  • 1:30 p.m. MST – Elite Women's Race
  • 2:45 p.m. MST – Elite Men's Race
Live streaming will also be offered by Cyclocross Magazine for the Elite Female and Elite Male races starting at 3:30 EST (1:30 MST) at cxmagazine.com

You may also follow the event on Twitter using the hashtag #CXNats or follow @BoulderCX14 or @USACycling. On Facebook follow 2014 Cyclocross Nationals, USACycling, or local bike club Boulder Cycle Sport.

Where can I read race reports and news results from CX Nats?

As I understand, Media interest has been overwhelming for this event (great city, nice location, good course, epic weather, best racers), all excellent news for growing this sport of cyclocross. You can follow the news from Boulder along with our local journalists at: VeloNews and 303Cycling.

Cyclocross Magazine has created an entire 2014 National Cyclocross Championships page to read about the event. They will be writing a report on nearly every category while offering tons of pre-race articles and advice.

Who is racing?

Startlists: View Registrants and get really intimidated.

There are 130 men registered for the Men Master 40-44 Cat 1/2/3 on Saturday at 9:00am. This is definitely a race worth watching! 120 Elite Men will line up on Sunday at 2:45pm. In a true sign of how much the sport of cyclocross continues to grow, on Wednesday, 121 men between the ages of 45 and 99 will be racing non-championships at high noon, that means for the fun of it!

Get to know the top Elite Males: Gallery: Who are the 16 elite call-ups for cyclocross nationals? By VeloNews.
Mens Elite line-up.  ©Photo by Karen Rakestrawat Pedal Dancer®
Womens CX Racers line up at Valmont Park in October 2013.  ©Photo by Karen Rakestrawat Pedal Dancer®
Katie Compton has won the National Cyclocross title every year from 2004-2010 and in 2012. Can she hold the jersey for another year? Show up on Sunday at 1:30pm to find out.
Katie Compton in the stars and stripes.  ©Photo by Karen Rakestrawat Pedal Dancer®
Can I Volunteer?

Yes volunteers are needed and you don't have to commit an entire day, some jobs are only 3-4 hours. I signed up to volunteer on Sunday (in addition to being Media). Sign up now at: Volunteer for CX Nats in Boulder

How cold will it be?

Weather forecast - hourly weather forecast link

Can I go to a party?
  • Wednesday night, January 8, 2014, 7-9pm, The Dairy Center,  2590 Walnut ST. Boulder - Team CLIFF Bar Nationals Kick-Off Event
  • Thursday night, January 9, 2014, 6:00-8:30pm at Boulder Cycle Sport and Amante Coffee, 4580 Broadway, Boulder  - SRAM CX Pro Night and Amy D Fundraiser
  • Thursday night, January 9, 2014, 8pm at Ruben's Burger Bistro, 1800 Broadway St, Boulder - US Cyclocross Nationals Kick-Off Party p/b Shimano/Pearl Izumi
  • Friday, January 10, 2014, 5:30-8:30pm at East Boulder Rec Center - Junior Cyclo-cross Celebration, pre-register.
  • Friday, January 10, 2014, 6:30pm, Rocky Mounts Headquarters, 2055 26th St., Boulder - Rocky Mounts Brass Knuckles
  • Saturday, January 11, 2014, 6-9pm, at Vecchios Bike Shop, 1833 Pearl St, Boulder - Moots and Vecchios Nationals Party
  • Saturday, January 11, 2014, 6pm, at The Kitchen Next Door, 1035 Pearl Street, Boulder - Vermarc USA/Boulder Beer/Peloton/C4Jamestown Fundraiser, register.
  • Sunday night, January 12, 2014, 7:00pm at Boulder Theater, 2032 14th St - Skratch Labs Nationals Post-Event Throw Down
Ladies Preview Clinic and Cross Skills Clinic (ages 9-99)
  • Friday, January 10, 2014, 7:45-9:00am, meet at blue and orange Amy D Foundation tent - Preview Clinic, preview course with Ann. info, must register
  • Sunday, January 12, 2014, 12-2:30pm, meet at blue and orange Amy D Foundation tent - Preview Clinic, technique and watch the race with Ann. info, must register
Anything else?
Leonard Zinn, a local and long-time tech writer at VeloNews.  ©Photo by Karen Rakestrawat Pedal Dancer®
What is the prize?

Fame, glory, bragging rights, and a really nice red white and blue jersey to be worn for the next year, generally that sort of thing because it sure ain't cold hard cash. The prize purse for the top five elite men will be $1000 total, same for the top five elite women: The breakdown is 1st-$400, 2nd-$250, 3rd-$150, 4th-$125, 5th-$75.

What is cyclocross?

A fun poke at the sport of cyclo-cross, written by me in 2012: Colorado Cyclocross Championships

And what goes best with Colorado cyclo-cross besides snow - beer, The FrontRange Map to Breweries (zoom out a bit to see the Boulder area).

Did I mention, I really like this sport! Have a great time at the race.