Zac at work during Starcrossed this past September. | All photos from Starcrossed 2014.
In certain circles you may be lead to believe that the cyclocross season is coming to an close. Do not believe it. If you can think that you can pull your cx bike out in August and wave it around like it aint no thing, and then just shove it to the back of the garage when the temperatures dip, then you are in the wrong sport.
Each season the participation numbers drop significantly in the Pacific Northwest as soon as that beloved series, the Cross Crusade puts away its barriers for the season. Well, that was until they also put on that race in Bend where they would pull in the pro riders and parade them around, thereby tempting us out for one more weekend, because who doesn't want to watch Katerina Nash, Georgia Gould and the likes of Ben Berden, Adam Craig and Co. duke it out through potentially horrific weather conditions? No one doesn't, that's who.
Something happened this year, however, and the Bend race suddenly ran out of money. It is a horrific thought, that these pro riders should be without anywhere to go for the weekend, sure, but it is also difficult because this is a city that is up for hosting duties once again for the National Championship Races the year after next. Or was it next year? Who really knows with these things until they are actually happening.
Ira Ryan and his Breadwinner CX bike through the barriers.
MFG Waves For Water Cyclocross Collaboration!
Well, next weekend's UCI races are definitely happening. Zac Daab and his MFG Crew have teamed up with Waves For Water to ensure that we do not lose the UCI weekend. Now, I'm not sure how this works exactly, I'll admit that straight away - but I get the impression that these races are relatively hard to pull off logistically and the chances of convincing the UCI to come back to the PNW must be difficult once we've pulled the whole bait and switch a few times. This is just an impression, however, and it could be relatively easy to pull off a UCI race - wait a second, then wouldn't everyone be putting on UCI races?
There are more than a few reasons that I'm into this collaboration that is making the UCI races possible. One of those reasons is because they call it a collaboration, which instantly makes me think that the promoters of the races (MFG) and this "corporate sponsor" for lack of a better phrase are teaming up to both bring you the best of what they have to offer. Each day it titled with the specific places that the donations from the day will be heading - Day 1 - Project Liberia - and Day 2 - Project Nepal. Both of which have close to $2,000 of their proposed $10,000 raised by donations received directly while people are registering for races.
The races this weekend promise not to be as dusty as the last go round. Here our esteemed photographer Jordan Reid surveys the scene post race.
It works for everyone. MFG gets to put on another one of their fantastic races, and Waves for Water get to use the cycling community to spread their message a bit further. I admit that I had never heard of them, but a quick browse through their site shows that they are doing good things. And with their press reaching into the likes of Surfers Journal and beyond so it is apparent that our brothers in the water (that's surfers to our cyclocrossers) need people to get behind their cause.
Plus, it is a sure bet that the courses will be fantastic. The MFG crew has put on a few races already this season, but that didn't stop them from wading into another few when their sport needed them the most. These guys know what they are doing when it comes to cyclocross - anyone that has had the fear of god put into them by a hammer wielding Terry Buchanan knows that for sure. I once saw him lower (or was it raise) a set of barriers to meet UCI standards in a manner of minutes. You have to have a man on the scene and you're going to want it to be this one. Plus, you combine that with Zac's preternatural European Cyclocross knowledge - and desire to bring it to American fans - and the you have yourself a lethal dose of everything that is good in this sport.
So, that is my plea all wrapped into one Starcrossed 2014 photo filled blog. I have been going to these guys races in one capacity or another (I do love announcing with them) for the past years and I hope to see everyone out there this weekend. Hell, if nothing else you can finally get those Single Speed points you have been after to secure your Nationals start spot. Right?
Tent city out behind the announcers booth.