For only the third time, the U.S. hosted a UCI World Cup Cyclocross race, held in Iowa City this past weekend.
Cyclocross combines elements of road cycling and mountain biking, with added obstacles and varied terrain designed to create a grueling, fast-paced event. A course is typically only 1-2 miles long, with racers completing multiple laps in different events ranging from 30 minutes to an hour.
Jingle Cross, held at the Johnson County Fairgrounds outside Iowa City, is three days of races for amateurs and pros. While the World Cup race was a big draw for the festival, the bulk of the races were for amateurs competing on Friday and Sunday. The course is generally the same for everyone, with racers competing in categories based on age and experience. Heavy rain in the days before the race created plenty of mud for the riders to contend with on the course.
The World Cup races drew riders from over 10 countries, including the world champion and several national champions. Reigning world champion, Wout Van Aert of Belgium took first place in the men’s World Cup race and Katie Compton, Reigning US National Champion won the women’s World Cup race. The race was broadcast nationally and internationally to an estimated 10-15 million viewers.