2016 Cyclocross Nationals Review

By Zap

Oh what a difference a year makes. Last year was an utter debacle in Austin, Texas when the cyclocross Nationals got into an ugly battle with the city authorities and local tree huggers who were protesting the impact of the bikes in the city park. Although all the 2015 events were eventually run, the final day of racing was delayed an entire day. It was a mess.

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Not since days of the Napa World Cup races has there been such a beautiful setting as the Biltmore Estate.

Counter that with a what proved to be a picture perfect, albeit cold, week of racing at the historic Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. Not only does racing on private land make all the difference in the  world, so too does having a feeling of being welcome!

The week started off on Wednesday with all the age-groupers battling dry, but near freezing conditions on a challenging course that was universally welcomed and likened to a layout that would make Europe envious.

By Saturday some rain did move in, but it was the Juniors on Sunday morning who got the worst dose of mud from overnight showers. The climbs and drops were slick as snot, but a steady, cold breeze and many tire tracks later made for ideal conditions by the time the Elite classes headed out later Sunday afternoon.

From the old folks to the Juniors and collegiate racers, it was a week of solid racing that was brimming with enthusiasm. Here’s a video and photo gallery of some that went on.

 

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The single-speed class numbered in over 140 riders.
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Few things are as inspiring to watch as the Junior girls – the future looks bright with talent.
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Talk about beautiful design and craftsmanship – how about the rear drops on this TwinSix Ti bike?
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With dry conditions the off-camber Yakima “slip–n-slide” section was tough to find traction on, but when it was wet, it was mayhem!
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The son of the father & son team that brings the world the fabulous Kappius wheels, Brady Kappius won Saturdays industry race and then ran mid-pack on Sunday.
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Here’s what the Yakima slip-n-slide section looked like from the front end.
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Feedback Sports not only volunteered a big, heated tent for privateer riders to use to warm-up, but they also offered up 20 of their new $429 Omnium Portable Trainers to use as well. Kudos!
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Although Katie Compton (top) won with a Shimano spec’d bike, as you’d expect, there was plenty of SRAM’s CX1 drivetrains to be found throughout the pits.
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The Biltmore course was challenging throughout with steep descents and climb-up sections.
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Curtis White has his tires checked for size in the start chute. Curtis chased, led, chased again, but came up short to finish second in the hotly contested U23 class.
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The UHC/Shimano/Maxxis/Parlee team bikes were among the best looking in the pits.

 

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