The 'Ville is being taken over by cyclocross madness this weekend, with Louisville hosting the Masters Worlds and #Louisville2013 Worlds here at our Eva Bandman cyclocross park. It has all crept up a bit, but once I realized that Sven Nys was in town with his Belgian 'cross posse, I knew game was on and mud was to be had! The local crappy paper rag had a pic of "cyclists" yesterday on the front page, not identifying that it was a contingent of the Belgian nat'l team in all their kitted up glory. (I can't find a link; that's why the paper sucks).
Anyway, I had a little time yesterday so I took the westward loop home on the Troll, under balmy 65F conditions here at the end of January. The poor Euros. They experienced 65F yesterday. Then this morning we had a tornado warning at 4.15 with a nasty batch of straight-line winds, and during the next 3 days we'll have lots of rain, then snow, 25F highs and lows in the teens. Race-day proper is supposed to be around 40F. I pray, pray, pray that today's rain makes the course un-rideable, especially with some snow thrown in. It is 'cross, you know. I took a few pics of goings-on, but I'll save a larger photo dump at the main events Saturday and Sunday.
For what it's worth, it looked to me like they put every "whoopTdoo" they could find on the course; they used all the gradients. So, now with the rain and potential snow it should be spectacular. And Euro big-wigs are starting to say nice things about how balanced the course is. Great stuff.
Finishing straight down River Rd. You can see the metal framing to the left which will be the finish line. Unless I'm mistaken, they'll finish facing east, in the opposite direction of this; it looked like there was a short grass pitch that would potentially separate racers as they took the hard left onto the pavement. I might be wrong. Louisville is nicely framed in the finish as well. Although you can't see them, there are maybe 15 little mobile cabins down this road, I assume, for corporate sponsors. Looks like a great place to store your beer.
By happenstance, as I rolled up, I ran across new U.S. champ Jonathon Page finishing a little roll-through and beginning an interview with Fox41, the local affiliate where my neighbor is sports director. Page seemed pretty game, but as expected, the questions were inane, "We're clueless Americans. You ride bikes in the snow!?". Standard fare. Page seemed nice. I bade him good luck.
A pic across the course with all the barriers. I like the orange, although it might give the Dutch a leg up. It's more serpentine that previous USGP courses, it seems. The "Focus" fencing is along the two sand sections. That area will be a highlight.
And on my roll home along B'town, I spied three Euro-looking gentlemen with bags in their hands as though they had been shopping and taking things in. They eyed me up on my orange Troll- a transpo cyclist! in the 'Ville!- and I waved. I hope the town shows them a good time. The Worlds weekend schedule should be held for another entry. Wow! There will be a lot going on. I failed to realize that, like the Stuporbowl, there is a race hidden somewhere within all the parties.
The 28 miles on the day felt pretty damn good too.