This week the country’s best cyclocrossers head to Verona, Wisconsin, for the 45th U.S. national cyclocross championships in a bid for gold and the stars-and-stripes jersey. With a world championship bid and the jersey on the line, expect fierce competition for returning champions like Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective), Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) and Logan Owen (Redline).
The current forecast calls for temperatures in the high 20s, and if that holds up, expect a venue that changes from fast and frozen to wet and sloppy depending on time of day.
The elite world championships — being held for the first time outside of Europe on February 2-3 in Louisville, Kentucky — have attracted the attention and imagination of riders, fans, and the media. How important is winning the national title? A nationals win in any of the four categories contesting elite worlds — elite men and women, U23 men and junior men 17-18 — punches an automatic ticket to Kentucky.
“Winning and wearing the jersey is incredible,” three-time elite champion Tim Johnson told VeloNews. “It might take just one hour to win or lose, but the effects last an entire career.”
Keep your browser pointed to VeloNews.com for daily coverage from Verona.