Colorado Springs, Colo. - Over 1,400 cyclists are gearing up for the final national championship event of the season next week - the USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships.
Expected to attract upward of 5,000 spectators, the event will return to Bend Oregon's Old Mill District for the second consecutive year, December 8-12.
Thirty-six national titles will be on the line as 'cross racers of all ages and abilities line up to battle each other, and mother nature, in a festival-like atmosphere that features BikeYoga classes, a warm-up area with LeMond Revolution trainers, and the Cross Culture: Art & Bike Festival, among other things.
Several changes are in store for the 2010 event:
-- For the first time in the history of the USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships - men's and women's singlespeed titles will be awarded.
-- On race day, competitors will duke it out on a technical course along the Deschutes River in Bend's Old Mill District. For 2010, the course has been lengthened to add some twists and turns, and to increase lap times.
-- With the exception of the elite, U23, 17-18-year-old, and collegiate categories, riders will have the option to earn start spots basedon results in the individual time trial completed the day before their race. The call-ups will then be in this order: 1) top eight riders from the year before, 2) riders seeded in order of time trial results, and 3) all other riders in the category.
Championship racing gets started on Thursday with amateur competitions, and wraps up on Sunday afternoon with the elite men's and women's contests.
Defending champs in the elite races, Tim Johnson (Beverly, Mass./Cannondale) and Katie Compton (Colorado Springs, Colo./Planet Bike), will toe the line on Sunday in hopes of defending their titles.
Johnson will be up against riders like Jeremy Powers (East Hampton, Mass.), as well as 2008 champ and hometown favorite, Ryan Trebon (Bend, Ore./KONA). Trebon will be looking to take back the title after being upset by Johnson a year ago.
For Compton, who is fresh off a World Cup win in Belgium last week, a win in Bend would signify her seventh consecutive elite 'cross national title. Joining her on course will be several other strong female contenders: Laura Van Gilder (Cresco, Pa.), Meredith Miller (Fort Collins, Colo./Team TIBCO), and Amy Dombroski (Boulder, Colo.). Almost certain to change the dynamic of the race will be a young Coryn Rivera (Tustin, Calif./Peanut Butter & Co TWENY 12), who is moving on from a successful junior career and joining the elite women's field for the first time in Bend next week.
To see who all is registered, click on "View Registrants" on the event's webpage, here.
If you are unable to join us in person, USA Cycling will be providing daily results, race recaps, and photos via email and online at www.usacycling.org.
Additionally, the elite men's and women's races will be available via LIVE STREAMING on USA Cycling's website.
For more information on the event, please click on the links below:
OFFICIAL EVENT WEBPAGE
VISIT BEND WEBSITE
EVENT FACEBOOK PAGE
OFFICIAL EVENT PHOTOGRAPHY