Cyclocross

It’s Not All Bad News: The 2020 COVID-19 Cyclocross Season – Cyclocross Magazine

It’s no doubt that COVID-19 has drastically affected our 2020 Cyclocross season for racers both at the participation and professional level. Many events have either been canceled, postponed, or restructured. We’ve already covered the UCI World Cup schedule, the cancellation of the World Cup Waterloo and the Qiansen Trophy in China, but for those of us who can’t get enough cyclocross, here is an update on where the pro cyclocross season stands as of now. While things in the U.S. aren’t looking great, there’s hope of pro racing in Europe.

While the situation changes almost every day, here’s a round-up of major cyclocross events and their plans.

Europe Offers Hope

Superprestige Is Still On for this Season

Superprestige recently tweeted out their final schedule for this year’s season. The series opens October 11, 2020, with Gieten and ends with Middelkerke on June 2, 2021. Niel will be a new addition to this year’s series.

Ethias Cross Pushed Back Two Weeks

Ethias Cross is still happening for the 2020-2021 season. The series will begin September 26, 2020, with Lokeren and end December 30, 2020 with Bredene.

DVV Trofee Persists Through COVID-19

DVV Trofee has also released their schedule for this season. The series takes off October 31, 2020, in Oudenaarde and ends February 14, 2021 in Brussels.

No Changes Made for UCI Cyclocross Rankings

Fortunately, no changes have been made to Cyclocross rankings yet. UCI explains that as of now, neither of the seasons’ scorings will be affected. These include the 2019-2020 season which ended in February and the 2020-2021 season which will resume in August 2020. However, there’s much to look forward to as new changes were promised for the 2021 cyclocross season!

The U.S.: Not Much Good News

Rochester Bunnyhops 2020

“In the interest of safety for the athletes, spectators and staff, we had no choice but to cancel for 2020,” said Rochester Cyclocross executive director, Scott Page this week. “Hopefully the Covid-19 pandemic will be well behind us all in 2021 and we can get back to racing!”

Rochester Cyclocross typically is one of the major season openers on the U.S. cyclocross circuit, and has enjoyed UCI C1 status with a star-studded international field.

A Ray of Hope for American Cyclocross: Jingle Cross

With countless American cyclocross events being canceled by the week, some might be excited to see that as of now, Jingle Cross plans to continue during the 2020 season. Jingle Cross’ John Meehan, a medical doctor, has said the situation is “impossible predict” but he is “maintaining optimism” and plans to return for three days on October 9, 2020. The nonprofit promises three days of cyclocross and two days of gravel.

If Jingle Cross happens in 2020, it will be without the top European stars. photo: Eli Iserbyt celebrates his World Cup Win. 2019 Jingle Cross. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Cycle-Smart’s 30-Year Streak is Broken

On July 14, Adam Myerson from Cycle-Smart announced their plans for this year’s race season.

“Finally, another milestone will be lost with what would have been the 30th edition of the Northampton International Cyclocross.”

The Northampton International Cyclocross will be canceled due to the rapid spread of COVID-19. However, the option for a grassroots event at Look Park is still open.

The Northeast Cyclocross Series is unlikely to take place this year. With COVID-19 spreading faster than ever, UCI-level racing is infeasible.

While it’s been under different names, the 30-year streak of Myerson races that started at UMASS ends this year. photo: Caroline Nolan celebrates her NoHo Day 1 win. 2019 Northampton International Day 1. © Angelica Dixon

The pandemic also has impacted Cycle-Smart events other than racing. Myerson has reduced the Cyclocross Camps from 50 to 30. Due to the spread of COVID-19, the event will be condensed into four single-day, camps in August. Registration is currently open.

Cyclocross isn’t the only discipline impacted. The New England Critweek has been canceled due to the racing season being put on hold. It is currently slated to return on June 6, 2021.

Pan-Am Cyclocross Championships Canceled!

Due to COVID-19 and public health concerns, FayetteCross 2020 has unfortunately been canceled. FayetteCross takes place at Centennial Park in Fayetteville which where Worlds will be held in 2022 and was set to serve as the Pan-Am Cyclocross championships for 2020.

Brook Watts, the race director of FayetteCross, explained “We’ve made the decision in the interest of the health of athletes, spectators and the entire community of Northwest Arkansas. The good news is, we have made a commitment to stage FayetteCross on October 2-3 in 2021. People will be able to have a sneak peek at the 2022 World Championships course in Centennial Park”

OVCX Is Planning for 2021

The Ohio Valley Cyclo-Cross series has been put off for this year’s season. In its official Facebook post, they hinted that some events may still take place this fall, albeit independent of the Ohio Valley Cyclo-Cross series.

See our interview with Ryan Gamm on the decision to cancel the season.

Washington D.C. Stops Streak at Unlucky 13

DCCX has canceled its annual two-day cyclocross event for 2020. The event has been held in Washington DC for the past 13 years but the organizers have agreed that the responsible decision for our public health would be to cancel the event this year.

The nation’s capital is facing more significant challenges at this time than cyclocross racing, but we’re hopeful that 2021 will bring our favorite discipline back to D.C.

We’ll Wait Another Year to Get Really Rad

The Massachusetts-based UCI cyclocross weekend that calls itself the Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross has also canceled its 2020 festivities. In a concise press release, the organizers stated in May: “We regret to inform you that the 2020 edition of the Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross will not be taking place. The race venue has informed us that they will not be hosting any events for the 2020 season. The RRFCX will be back in action for 2021. See you then.”

2020 Is A Bit Less Charmed

Charm City’s two-days of UCI racing will also be missing this year.

That also means the Parkway CX Trophy, in partnership with DCCX, won’t be happening.

What about Local Racing?

While professional racing looks grim in the U.S., it’s unclear whether local, grassroots cyclocross racing will happen in much of the country.

USA BMX continues to push forward with racing in many areas, including large “Nationals” on smaller, tighter tracks but with maximum field sizes of eight at a time.

Meanwhile, mainstream professional sports, with easy access to COVID-19 testing, can’t avoid outbreaks just a few days into the season, despite athletes having the luxury of avoiding working the frontlines.

2019 Cyclocross Nationals in Chicago looks like an unlikely bet, but perhaps some local promoters could get creative with cyclocross time trials or BMX-style smaller heats.

While many of us are anxious to race, we’re even more anxious about staying healthy.