Masters CX worlds Yes, No, Maybe... No you cant.
Masters Cx Worlds YES! NO, Maybe..
So as we approach the end of the cyclocross season the US was ramping up for Nationals and then people were asking the question "Where are Masters Worlds going to be?" We are all use to them being in Europe and for so many years they were in Belgium and very few US riders mad the trip to race there. I had a relative that went over there and told me about the experience. Then one year the US won the bid to have it. This came at just the right time as participation was at all time high for cyclocross. When it did happen there was a flood of of entries into the race.so much so that they had to have qualifying heats to get into the gold medal round. If you didn't turn in a fast lap time you were watching on the side lines. Basically, it was US nationals part 2 with a smitten of international participation.
When the 2016 date was announced there were a lot of master racers in the US that jumped for joy that it was going to be held on US soil again. I was one of them that was jumping for joy. When I saw that the location was San Jose CA I decided to go ahead and commit to doing the race and try my luck. So my wife and I bought our tickets. I started to do some research on the race venue and I noticed that there was going to be a tune up race down in San Jose in 2 weeks! What a great idea to go down for the weekend and race at the venue! Once again I bought airline tickets to the race down in California. I was thinking that it would be a good idea to go down and scout out the course and the town and get the 411 on everything. Just before I leave to go down there I get the news that Master worlds has been canceled. I was like 'Is this a joke?" And of course this is no joke. My wife was telling me to jsut wait and see what happens next. To go down acording to plan and do the race and scout the town. keep training and plan on racing in January.. And that is exactly what I did.
the race venue is at this park with a lake. Its called lake Cunningham and Its a great venue. there is a variety of terrain that is available, lots of parking, and bathrooms that are not portapotties. Want sand? yep there is a beach! Want mud? Well guess what they can pump water out of the lake and flood the inner plane to your hearts desire. Run ups? Well careful what you wish for. So getting there was not that big of a deal as I booked a room about 2 miles from the venue so I just rode to the race. The start was in one of the parking lots and it was a easy transition onto the course. Initially we were in the flats. the course was wide and easy to navigate. however it had been raining there the night before with about a half of inch of rain. So there was mud, enough mud that about one third was mud. The rest of the course was soft and tacky. But the bad part of this was that the muddy parts led right to the run ups. Yes there were 2 of them. So you would be having to power through the slow mud sections and then transition to a 15-20 second run up that was also muddy (get baseball spikes). then you would ride for 50 meters and ride down that same hill (bark decent) and then a quick left for 50 m and then right back up that run up again. Once at the top you went down the rode and right onto the beach. The first time on the beach was 2 straight s with a 180 connecting them. Each section was about 80 meters in length and then you would exit onto the road and then back onto the flats. This section was fast and fun. Which this section would take you back to the beach again just incase you forgot about the beach for a shorter a 25 meter then 180 and another 30 meter section before a dirt road climb. after that is pretty much flat and will lead you back to the start finish. There was a little bit of technical sections with a section of off camber bark with a 180 right hander at the end of the section with a tight section through some trees. So Over all 3/4 of the course was flat with 1/3 of the course being very difficult fitness wise with all of it concentrated on one area of the course.
While I was preriding the course I had a chance to chat with the promoter about the situation with announcing the race and then canceling it. Apparently Im not the only one that bought their plane tickets to the race in January. I was told to not trade those tickets in just yet. to hold on.. After getting back from the race I have checked in and have been looking for an announcement on what was going to happen. My suggestion was to have a cyclocross festival for that week at least people will have a chance to come a race and preride the course for next year and have an idea on the course and the city and logistics.
We are taking our ball and going home.
Hope was lingering in the air during the race and after the event. The Promoter was telling me "Don't trade your tickets just yet". I over heard many a discussion with the promoter on how easily this place (Lake Cunningham) could host a UCI level cyclocross race. And frankly, I agreed with them. Everything was in place for this to happen. The venue was good there was lots of interest nationally and internationally for the party to take place. The promoter was super motivated to make it happen. So December 22 at 8pm PST I sent Mac a email asking whats going on. I got a immediate reply that the UCI took their ball and went home. What really happened ? Was it really what was was put in the media? Was it money? Timing? To find out more I reached out to the UCI to see what was going on with masters CX worlds and what had happened to the San Jose bid. I emailed the UCI the same day I emailed the promotor. Today is the 29th and I have not heard from them.. Either way the 2016 Masters World Cyclocrosschampionships are dead and there are a lot disappointed people.