Wet, maybe cold, but no snow in fore­cast

They’ve tweaked the course and are ready to go for Cana­dian Cy­clocross Cham­pi­onships

The Peterborough Examiner - - SPORTS - MIKE DAVIES EX­AM­INER SPORTS DI­REC­TOR mike.davies @pe­ter­bor­ough­daily.com

Peter­bor­ough will once again be the cen­tre of at­ten­tion of Canada’s cycling com­mu­nity this week­end.

For the sec­ond year in a row the Shi­mano Cana­dian Cy­clocross Cham­pi­onships will be hosted at Ni­cholls Oval on Satur­day.

In ad­di­tion a UCI (In­ter­na­tional Cycling Union) points race will be held on Sun­day. Rac­ing will be­gin around 7 a.m. each day and con­tinue un­til dark.

The elite men’s race is set for 2:45 p.m. and the women’s elite event at 4 p.m. on Satur­day with each race last­ing about one hour.

Last year more than 500 cy­clocross rid­ers from across the coun­try com­peted in age groups from chil­dren to masters. Last year’s event oc­curred on an icy trail in bit­ter cold while this year the trails will be wet and muddy but not as cold.

The el­e­ments are a big part of cy­clocross — a hy­brid of road rac­ing and moun­tain bik­ing.

“The weather plays a huge role in how the event turns out,” said Kris Sieber, the event’s com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor.

“Last year we set up in beau­ti­ful fall weather and by the time we ran some in­for­mal races on the Fri­day night we had four to six cen­time­tres of snow on the ground and cold weather that per­sisted through the week­end.

It changed the com­plex­ion of that event 180 de­grees from what any­one ex­pected go­ing in. This year we ex­pect it to be wet and we ex­pect it to be muddy but it will be dif­fer­ent from last year and rac­ers will have to adapt.

“From an or­ga­niz­ing per­spec­tive, you have to roll with what you get and do the best you can. It’s the same for the rac­ers.”

Last year the Peter­bor­ough Cycling Club hosted some lo­cal races on the Fri­day but this year the trails will be open for prac­tice on Fri­day from midafter­noon un­til dark. Oth­er­wise, the sched­ule will run very sim­i­lar to last year with the chil­dren’s and masters races ear­lier in the day lead­ing up to the elite rac­ers.

“We have some changes to the track this year just to mix it up for the rac­ers,” said Sieber, “and also just to try to make the foot­print of the track a lit­tle more com­pact. This year we’re not go­ing to be cross­ing over the Green­way Trail for in­stance so that will make it smoother for peo­ple mov­ing past the event. Aside from that the for­mat is pretty set in stone.”

All the 2018 cham­pi­ons are ex­pected to re­turn to de­fend their ti­tles, said Sieber.

A lo­cal rider to watch is Kathy Eggen­berger who last week won a pro­vin­cial gold medal in her age group of 35-44 and last year placed fourth at na­tion­als.

“She’s com­ing off a great week­end last week­end so it will be interestin­g to see how she does this week­end,” Sieber said.

Lo­cal rac­ers who medalled last year in­cluded Ais­lin Hal­la­han who won gold in the un­der-13 girls di­vi­sion and Joel

Anderson who was third in the men’s sportif class.

“There is def­i­nitely some lo­cal tal­ent to cheer for,” Sieber said.

There is no ad­mis­sion cost for spec­ta­tors.

Sieber said or­ga­niz­ers learned a few lessons last year for ways they can make this year’s event a bit smoother.

“Part of the way we deal with the mud is we have power washers for the me­chan­ics to wash off the bikes. What we didn’t ex­pect is to get the cold we did so the power washers were freez­ing. We had vol­un­teers go­ing to great lengths to keep the power washers from freez­ing. There were a lot of lit­tle things.

This year we’ll do some­thing spe­cial with the power washers and with the pits so if we do get cold weather and it gets icy or slip­pery we know how to deal with it.”


Cy­clist David Yex­ley com­petes at last year’s Shi­mano Cana­dian Cy­clocross Cham­pi­onships at Ni­cholls Oval. Weather is a big fac­tor. “From an or­ga­niz­ing per­spec­tive, you have to roll with what you get,” said event com­mu­ni­ca­tor Kris Sieber.

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