There may not be snow in the Madison, Wisconsin, area to contribute to a slick course for the USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championship on January 4-8. But a cold day on a hilly course will certainly greet the nation's best cyclocross riders at Badger Prairie Park in Verona.
A preview of the course, complete with a long stair-step climb constructed with railroad ties and the requisite short barriers to jump over, was had at the Badger Cross Midwest Regional Championship on December 10-11. While Badger Prairie Park has hosted cyclocross races for the past 15 years and was recently designated a permanent venue for the sport, this month will be the first time a national 'cross event will be staged there.
The national championship will have more of a festival feel with beer, bonfires, live music, bike art displays, a winter bike clothing fashion show and a build-you-own ice shanty contest. Riders will try to complete as many laps of the roughly two-mile course as they can in 30- to 60-minute. Men and women will compete in junior, collegiate, masters and elite races.
Sunday's elite races will be streamed live on the event webpage (http://www.usacycling.org/events/2012/cxnationals/) and at www.youtube.com/usacyclingorg beginning at approximately noon and 2:15 p.m.
The Madison Area Sports Commission, in partnership with Team Sports, put in the winning bid to bring the national championships to town, and race director Tom Schuler is expecting Madison legion of cyclocross riders and fans to turnout for it.
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