Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Competitors Can Expect Muddy Conditions

Kansas City, Kan. – Competitors at the USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships in Kansas City will not have to endure the freezing rain or snow from a winter storm that gripped a good portion of the Midwest early this week.

Instead, temperatures in the low to mid-30s are forecast for racing on Thursday through Sunday. The conditions are expected to create a muddy course at Wyandotte County Park (126th Street and State Avenue). No precipitation is in the forecast for the duration of the event, according to the National Weather Service’s local forecast office, so spectators will be able to take advantage of key viewing points along the course. The heated Expo tent and beer garden will also offer prime viewing spots to see all the muddy action.

“I think weather always makes racing more interesting,” said Georgia Gould, recent winner of the overall Gran Prix of Cyclocross Series and the current U.S. mountain bike national champion. “Mud adds an element of finesse and technical skill over and above simple brute strength. In the end, the winner is the one who makes the fewest mistakes on the slippery course.”

Race Director Bill Marshall of KLM Marketing Solutions e-mailed a “weather alert” to every registered rider Monday night, reminding them of the event’s weather policy. The policy is posted on the event website, www.kccrossnationals.com, in the “registration” section.

“We heard from a lot of people who were concerned about getting to Kansas City,” Marshall said. “As of this moment, we do not anticipate delaying any races and USA Cycling is very comfortable with our weather policy.”

Freezing rain fell in Kansas City In the overnight hours of Monday and early Tuesday, causing scattered power outages and forcing many schools to close. But rising temperatures Tuesday morning gave way to afternoon rain. Scattered flurries, with little or no accumulation, are in Wednesday’s forecast.

Tuesday, Marshall and his crew completed the installation of hard fencing on parts of the course. They also drove Bobcat four-wheelers along the 1.91-mile course to harden it up before re-freezing took place overnight.

“The course is in great shape right now,” Marshall said. “We had about an inch of snow on the course before this ice storm but the warmer rain melted it, so now it’s a layer of ice. But it’s been raining more than anything lately, so it’s going to make for pretty muddy conditions for the entire week.”

Admission and parking is free for the duration of the event. Course and parking maps, as well as the opportunity to purchase official race apparel, is available at www.kccrossnationals.com.

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