As of October 6, 2018, we still don’t know where and when National Championships will be, but I have gathered some info to put here and have a spot to discuss.
It will likely be the 2nd or 3rd week in July, since that is the time slot it has traditionally occupied.
Nationals have followed two trends (hesitate to say rules, but near that) that are rumored to not be in place anymore. Those were (1) it will be held two years in a row in the same location (2) it will alternate between East and West Coast.
From what I hear, bids from municipalities and other third parties have been tough to come by, hence the delayed announcement/decision, but I have heard whispers of it being in Winter Park or Aspen, CO. These rumors come from folks who would be in the know, but the rumor was that it was “likely”, not “decided”, so keep that grain of salt handy until we can officially update here.
There were also rumors of Texas or Wisconsin getting them, but those rumors seem to have died off.
At this point, Winter Park seems most likely.
Winter Park Beta
I just visited Winter Park today for the first time, so it would be great to get more local knowledge. That said, I rode much higher up the resort than what the XCO course would be like to get an idea of the terrain throughout the resort. That place is SO good! It was 20°F at the top and snowing, but the dirt was absolutely perfect. Dream day!
Up high, there is some dense pine growth with a lot of roots and embedded granite rock. The dirt has a somewhat loose composition – nothing like Mammoth’s kitty litter from a couple years ago, but it definitely isn’t hard packed clay.
As you drop in elevation, the roots decrease substantially in density, but the dirt maintains its somewhat loose composition. When wet, it’s like moist and compacted brown sugar (), and I can only assume that when dry it has the capability of becoming very hard packed but also losing its composition and crumbling. Any local info to help on this?
I think I’d stick with the Maxxis Aspen unless the dirt gets looser. In that case, I’d likely go to the Recon Race.
For hardtail vs. full suspension, they could make a course that would be good for either, but it seems like full suspension would be a better idea since it’s a bike park (big braking bumps and bomb holes are likely to develop).
For suspension settings, the roots up high would be best handled with lower than average air pressure of additional volume spacers to create more progressive (and thusly more initially plush) kinematics.
Overall, I think it is very unlikely they would make the course go up high to the roots, so likely not needed to account for that. However, if it was a Marathon event, they definitely could go all the way up there!
Okay, that’s all I’ve got. Any locals have info on Winter Park, or has anybody heard of Nationals happening elsewhere?