Cyclocross World Championship elite men’s winner Sven Nys of Belgium; photo courtesy Paved magazine, Brian Vernor. For more on the race, click the photo
Cyclocross is a unique form of cycling racing that involves multiple loops filled with obstacles–stairs, steep banks, sand pits, wooden barriers–lots of mud, terrible weather, NASCAR-esque pit crews, and hordes of crazy (translation: drunk) vuvuzela-blaring fans.
As with most cycling styles, cyclocross is big in Europe, which was why American cyclocross fans got so excited when it was announced that the 2013 World Cyclocross Championship would be held in Louisville, Kentucky–marking the first time in history the world championships would deign to exist on American soil.
And luckily for American pride, it seems that despite sleet and flooding, the event went off without a hitch last Saturday, and it even included a “not-even-remotely-UCI-sanctioned Raleigh Singlespeed Cyclocross Derby,” according to Paved magazine correspondent Kristin Butcher.
“Open to anyone on a bike–or unicycle as it were–the SSCX Derby matched serious competitors with people who take the art of not racing very seriously. Denizens dressed up as bananas, clowns, and disconcertingly hairy prom queens charged through the sleeting darkness,” she wrote. “Featuring fire spewing barricades, chants of ‘Hurry up, buttercup!’ and the occasional Krispy Kreme doughnut followed by a bourbon chaser, SSCX proved a remarkable display of how much fun can be had while being absolutely miserable on a bike–a perfect opening act to the big race.”
For more on this crazy event, including a peek into its world of Speedo-clad racers, hard falls, and pornographic playing cards, click on over to Paved magazine for Butcher’s recap of what went down. And click here for a photo gallery by Paved correspondent Brian Vernor, who wrote as one of his photo captions: “I still cannot believe that the world championships were on American soil. If you weren’t there, you blew it.”
Touche, Brian. Touche.