Plans for this year’s U.S national marathon mountain bike championships and cyclocross nationals have been forced to change as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
USA Cycling confirmed Thursday that the marathon MTB race, slated for Palo Duro Canyon State Park, is canceled. The shuttering of the event for this year is the result of restrictions on event attendees due to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases.
Meanwhile, the ‘cross nationals, originally scheduled to be held in DuPage County, Illinois, will now be staged in Iowa’s Johnson County Fairgrounds, the home of Jingle Cross. The shift in venue is the result of Illinois heavily restricting events as part of their reopening plan. DuPage County will now hold the event in 2021.
While the change in location of cyclocross nationals will not affect the original dates of December 8 – 13, there has been some alteration to qualification standards for elite racers, which can be viewed on a document linked from the USA Cycling web site.
“We are excited for the opportunity to host the 2020 cyclocross national championships,” said Josh Schamberger, president of Think Iowa City and co-organizer of the recent Telenet UCI cyclocross World Cups. “The CX community knows us well so we are thankful for this opportunity. We also very clearly know what our community, state, and world is facing with the COVID-19 pandemic. To that end, we have already begun aligning local/state medical officials.”
“While hopeful that [the 2020] Cyclocross Nationals can take place in its new location, safety considerations will ultimately dictate whether the event takes place,” read Thursday’s statement from USA Cycling. “As usual during this time, we will not open registration until we are certain the event will take place. We will continue to update you on the situation as it develops.”