Friday, January 13, 2012

Nothing like a little brrrrrrrrr.....

That's the weather forecast for tomorrow's first day of finals at the UCI Masters World Championships in cyclocross, taking place here in frigid Louisville in horse-crazed Kentucky. Today's seeding races were run in arctic conditions. Yesterday (the first day of seeding runs) had been rainy and sloppy, so the night's freeze left the entire course with concrete-like ruts that only the best masters riders were able to negotiate without having to run. Welcome to the world of cyclocross. (PS: Update on Saturday morning: It's 17 degrees and the high now is not projected to hit the freezing mark, with snow continuing in the forecast. Brrrrr indeed.)
Masters 30-34 slip and slide on the World's course
I arrived here on Wednesday afternoon, as the UCI's Doping Control Officer. Together with the UCI race doctor, Ton Zasada from Holland, I have been establishing our Doping Control Station (DCS) and been doing preparatory work. The course (which will be used in 2013 to host the Elite World Championships) is a well-laid out venue in a park dedicated to nothing but cyclocross. No wonder Louisville was chosen as the very first non-European city to host a 'cross world championship.
Nanuk from the North—or was it Texas?

The weather has played some serious havoc as there's just not the kind of interaction and general "hanging out" and watching other age groups because of the severe cold. Racers, officials, volunteers—everyone is cold. This may not be Poland or Slovenia, but it sure as hell feels like it! Only thing is: In Poland the boisterous crowds still appear, even if the vodka freezes. Not quite so here.
Cold racers and sparse crowds during seeding
Tomorrow we will see the first finals (except today's 30-34 race, which was won by a Belgian), and I am sure there will be more spectators. The course is exciting, and so far the racers have shown amazing spirit, so one can only hope that the cowbells will ring hard, the hecklers will slap the racers with rubber chickens, and the beer will flow. And with a bit of luck, the heaters in our DCS will be firing on all cylinders!

I forgot: When am I going to Puerto Rico for my next UCI race?



  1. Hi, found your blog. Seems like you're traveling is going well. Too bad we didn't run into each other at yesterday's race in Louisville. But you got me in your picture :-)


  2. Yeah, I saw your name on the start list but didn't get a chance to say hi. It was quite a weekend, eh?