As expected, USA Cycling announced today that the U.S. Cyclocross National Championships will move back to December, starting with December 2018. This means that 2018 will get two championships. The first in January in Reno and the second in Louisville, Kentucky, in December. Along with the announcement to move Nationals back to December, USAC also announced Louisville and Tacoma, Washington, will host the 2018 (v2.0) and 2019 CXNats. Also notable, is that the Louisville CXNats will not take place in Eva Bandman Park, the venue that hosted the 2013 UCI Cyclocross World Championship, but rather a new location, Joe Creason Park. The new location, which was the backup course for 2013 Worlds, will also host this year’s Pan American Cyclocross Championship.
I had the opportunity to chat with Micah Rice, USAC Vice President of National Events, about the move to December and the new locations on the latest Crosshairs Radio, which is posted now. In that conversation we do a deeper dive into the reasons why the change was made to January, six years ago, and what prompted the move back to December. We also talk about the new locations and other cyclocross issues like the state of the PROCX. Give it a listen here:
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Also check out Micah’s first appearance on Crosshairs Radio where we get into even more depth about cyclocross in the U.S. and USAC’s role in it. It’s here: www.cxhairs.com/2016/08/25/crosshairs-radio-episode-40-micah-rice.
If you’re just looking for the nitty gritty, here is the press release from USA Cycling announcing the date change and the 2018 and 2019 host citites:
USA Cycling Announces 2018 and 2019 Cyclocross National Championships
Nationals Moving Back to December
Colorado Springs, Colo. (Mar. 10, 2017) – USA Cycling announced today that Louisville, Ky., and Tacoma, Wash., have been awarded the 2018 and 2019 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships, respectively. After engaging the Cyclocross community, USA Cycling will move the National Championships back to December.
“The Cyclocross National Championships are one of our most prestigious and well attended events and we are excited to partner with two very strong cycling communities,” said Micah Rice, USA Cycling Vice President of National Events. “Both areas are hotbeds for cyclocross and have the passionate grassroots racing community, proven event promoters and supportive civic leadership to ensure strong, successful events.”
Joe Creason Park, a new cyclocross venue for Louisville, will play host to the 2018 National Championships. “Louisville is a vibrant and welcoming community for both recreational and competitive cyclists” said Karl Schmitt, president and CEO of the Louisville Sports Commission. “We’ve successfully hosted numerous, championship-level cycling competitions over the past twenty years, including the UCI Elite and Masters Cyclocross World Championships, and we’re thrilled with the opportunity to host the USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships.
The competition then moves to the northwest in 2019 to Steilacoom Park just south of the Seattle-Tacoma International airport. “Alongside all of our state and regional cyclocross partners, we have been preparing for this for a long time,” said Dean Burke, Executive Director, Tacoma South Sound Sports Commission. “The City of Lakewood has been a star for openly embracing cyclocross the way they have. Without the right venues, agencies like ours cannot do our job and Lakewood’s Fort Steilacoom Park stands as an iconic venue for the sport in the Pacific Northwest.”
After six years in January, the event returns to its traditional mid-December timeframe. “We solicited feedback from our cyclocross community including athletes, parents, race directors and our advisory Cyclocross Committee and there was overwhelming support to return to December,” said Rice. “We believe this is very positive move and will work closely with any affected December races to ensure their continued success.”
Given the move back to December, 2018 will have two National Championships in one calendar year. The first is scheduled for Reno, Nev., next January and was originally awarded in January 2015. Louisville and Tacoma will be the 45th and 46th installments of the annual championships.