2015 Cyclocross Nationals Race Course Preview

It’s not every year that the USA Cycling Cyclocross Nationals land in your backyard. Over the past few days, the crews here in Austin have been mapping out the course, staking turns and building lots of the additions to the otherwise rough and rocky limestone outcroppings.

There are a number of places where you’ll be able to gain momentum, until it ends abruptly with sharp turns and muddy corners. The course is soaking wet today, but it’s not supposed to rain anymore until Saturday. Right now, it looks like it’ll be a blast, especially going down the main hill before the uphill barriers.

I swung by today after a ride and shot a few quick photos, after pre-riding most of the course (which isn’t allowed apparently). I’m damn impressed with how well things are shaping up.

Check out some preview photos in the Gallery.

  • Kyle Kelley

    So RAD!

  • Kerry Nordstrom

    The fencing almost looks runic.

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      “Blood and algiz above”

  • dypeterc

    And you wonder why Euro riders are a step above the US… This course is weak and requires zero bike handling skillz.

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      Weird. Did you ride it? I know these photos aren’t the best, but there’s no way you can asses that.

      EU riders are so good because they start racing cross at the age of 10 and dedicate their lives to it through their 30’s. Meanwhile, US kids are playing football and baseball.

      Besides, I left out the downhill, switch back sandpit / rock garden.

    • carl bradtmiller

      one time i saw a video of a lady fucking a horse but that sure as hell doesnt mean i know what its like.

      go start a development team. better yet, go to europe. austin doesnt want you.

      CANT WAIT!

      • dypeterc

        Good one, Caaaaaarl… Your wit is fucking weak.

        • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

          You’re pretty close to being cut-off. Watch it!

      • dypeterc

        And why are you watching beastiality videos? That’s fucking weird.

        • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

          I’d rather watch Catherine the Great II than that race preview video.

    • Don Guy

      It is quite easy to compare courses as a person sits on their arse and types shit online. Come ride the course and race against professional Americans and then judge a course. I was on the course today during setup and this will stand up against many EU courses. @dypeterc Youre showing your ignorance and childishness with your trolling. Grow up and ride a bike instead of criticizing other peoples hard work.

      • dypeterc

        I can’t be critical of the state of US cyclocross??? Jesus Christ, the littlest bit of questioning or confrontation and I’m deemed a “troll”. Ask any of the pros that have been to EU. Courses across the pond are more technical and challenging than the typical American course carved out of a flat, open field. If you can’t see that, you’re blind.

        • Don Guy

          I am blind! Thanks for picking on me! I lost my eyesight while saving a widow and an orphan in a 3rd story apt. Thanks for pointing it out!

          And we are not in EU, so who really gives a shit if their courses are better? If youre rich enough to race in Europe then have fun over there and quit complaining about what we have in our own back yard.

        • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

          I think people got worked up because you’re speaking about something that hasn’t yet happened, like it has and using tr0ll language. Acts like a tr0ll, probably is a tr0ll.

        • charlesojones

          So, all we need to do is build Euro-style courses and we’ll be right up there with the Euros? If it were only that simple. If, in your mind, the differences between Europe’s cycling culture and ours boils down to the difficulty of the courses, then you shouldn’t be calling others blind.

          Europe could build the best Little League ballfields in the world and our kids could still show up and clean their clocks. Different places, different cultures, different priorities. No need for the harsh criticism.

        • Tommaso Gomez

          The organizers are working with the terrain they have to build the best possible course, and that’s all you can ask of them in a public park. The point of CX Nationals is to bring the spectacle to different cities and grow the sport. If you want to see steep, muddy, technical courses, you’ll find plenty in Oregon and Washington that are comparable to European races in CX Hairs.

  • Allan U

    A bit off topic, but what filters/pre-sets did you use with the photos?

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      No filters, I make one B&W preset that I batch process on stuff like this.

  • http://joewill.ca/ Joe

    Even as a Canadian I look forward to watching US Cross Nationals. (By the way, I wasn’t there, but Canadian Cross Nationals in Winnipeg looked pretty awesome this year). I think it’ll be pretty tough to beat Compton or Powers but should be fun to watch.

  • ZachRob

    Thanks for stopping by today. Its always good to see locals come out to check out the venue. This is my first time to Austin and working in rainy 30° weather had made the first few days rougher than expected. Your photos show the progress we can make when the weather is nice. You stopped by during a lull but as a builder it can be dangerous for the rider and the crew when folks ride the course especially when some of the features aren’t finished. Come back out early on Tuesday and check it out. Pre-ride starts at 2 on Tuesday for anyone wanting to ride the course.


  • David

    Was reading that the organizer, (Cadence I think?), thinks the natural limestone stairs can be a difference maker. I like the idea of natural features for dismount. Hope they’re exciting to watch as the lead groups take them on.

  • Focus Bicycles

    We can’t wait. Thanks again, John.

  • Tommy Everstone

    0° in Minneapolis today. Hitting the road tomorrow, can’t wait.

    • http://www.ridemagnetic.com/ Magnetic Wheel Co.

      Oh-oh! Don’t Mess with Texas!

  • http://pablofrompuebla.tumblr.com Pablo Matus

    It’d be cool and quiet interesting if you were to do an after-race gallery of the course. To see how much it changes over the weekend.

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson


  • Sretsok

    Are you going down that limestone in #12? Because that looks pretty damn fun.

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      You have to go up those…

      • Sretsok

        Well then shit I’m out.