I was thinking about writing a post about how inconvenient it is that cyclocross Nationals are in January, then I saw a video that Bill Marshall posted on Facebook, in which Adam Craig states exactly the same opinion, so I decided to 2nd his opinion.
Adam says it, and I agree completely, cyclocross in the United States is mainly a participatory sport. We have more cyclocross racers in our country than the rest of the world combined*. And that being said, I don’t think that moving Nationals forward a month to mid-January, from before Christmas, sits well with many of us. We participate in cross because we love it and it is fun.
It is a hassle trying to schedule training through the holidays for many cyclist. Nationals is the focal point of the year for cyclocross and training for Nationals through the holidays makes cross less fun. Plus, if you stay race fit through the middle of January when do you get time off?
Adam says the current schedule benefits a dozen or so guys. I think less. I think our best riders would like to race Nationals earlier in the season and then have a month and a half to prepare properly for the World Championships. They can do this by going over to Europe and racing through the holidays there, going somewhere warm and train, whatever.
Just take Katie Compton’s situation. She is basing her season in Europe until Nationals, then doing the trans Atlantic hop over to Boulder for one race and then has to head back to Europe. Jonathan Page did that same schedule many times over the years. Just ask them about how they feel about Nationals in January.
We’re not Europe. Our cross is homegrown and still growing. Let’s do everything we can to encourage that trend. Making the season more manageable for the masses is a good start. USAC should just move cyclocross Nationals back to its original date, the 2nd or 3rd weekend in December. Then the other 99% + of the participates can enjoy their holidays with their families and then do a little cross country skiing or whatever they want for the short off season.
*stat made up by me, but I’m sticking with it until proven incorrect.