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. Read More
The velodrome is one of the most classic and pure forms of cycling. Racers fly around a smooth banked track, with no brakes and just one fixed gear. The track in Minnesota is one of only about 25 tracks across the country, with weekly races through the summer. I love the long summer shadows and golden light that envelopes the track through the night, eventually leading to just small pockets of sunshine making it into the track. As the sun fades, and the lights of the track come up, the blue skies are a stunning backdrop for the last races of the night. Read More
This is dedicated to the cyclists for whom there is no off season, to the riders who don't have a fresh New Year's resolution, but a continued commitment to riding.
It is still a harsh reality for those of us living in northern climates that through winter it is impossible to ride outside with the same intensity of summer, and instead we must ride indoors. This is not why we ride, it's not a mountain road with a scenic view, but a necessity of winter so that we can still be ready for the roads come spring.
For the past few years, Now Bikes in Saint Paul, MN has offered classes through the winter, letting riders bring in their own bikes and ride. Even with new technology it takes commitment to put in hours of riding indoors through the winter, but it's knowing that it will pay dividends when the season starts anew that keeps the legs spinning. These images are dedicated to that drive. Read More
Fall for cyclists is cyclocross season, and this weekend was one of the best races annually held in Minnesota – Green Acres cyclocross race. The course snakes up, down and around a snow tubing hill, and surrounding farm fields. I was only able to catch the 2nd day of racing, missing the 300+ racers on Saturday, but still 200+ racers were out with bright sunny skies through the day. It was great racing, and a lot of fun out on the course cheering and heckling the racers. I didn't get out and race this year, hopefully I'll have my bike re-assembled before the next race. Read More
Donkey Label, a Minnesota cycling apparel and accessories brand, has been committed to bike racing since it's inception, but this year they also began sponsoring a team of elite racers. The team was created with a goal of having more transparency and allowing people a behind the scenes look at life on an elite cycling squad.
DonkeyLabelRacing.com was built to highlight photo galleries from races, and publish articles written by the team members about racing, diving into things like training, bike tech, and nutrition.
Here is a small selection of images from the North Star Grand Prix. DonkeyLabelRacing.com has a larger gallery, and images from a track night of racing at the National Sports Center Velodrome in Blaine, MN. Read More