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.
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.