Anyone ride the course at Lakewood for CX Nationals? Think it will be a mud bath?
No but I was spectating during the weekend preview race they did a few weeks ago. Weather that weekend was showers and didn’t seem too muddy. There’s a long man made sand pit UCI length 40m which is rideable but faster if you run it. Then there’s a steep section which you have to dismount and carry the bike and can be muddy. Definitely put on the front spikes on the shoes if ya got em. So you’ll have to keep an eye out for the weather that week as if it does rain, prepare for typical mud but nothing peanut butter sticky, just more tacky and slick.
Forgot all about this video preview if you haven’t seen it…
I’m not any kind of soil expert, but I have raced on this course many, many times in the past few years (probably twice a year on average for the last five or six years). It’s changed a lot, but I think the version we raced in October will be pretty close to the nationals course (there has been talk of a fly-over, but no evidence of that last month).
Basically, the course is a field at the base of a hill. Through the field, up the hill, down the hill, through the field, etc, etc.
The start/finish is on the road for a few hundred meters before turning onto some bumpy grass. Then it’s basically a straight shot to the first run up. This one is brand new, they just cut it in this year. Not too steep, you can probably ride a fair bit of it, but not if it’s super wet. At the top you’ll hop back on for a few sweeping turns on hardpack before the first descent. This one is off camber and has a high probability of being fairly rutted. There is an off camber turn near the bottom. It probably won’t be terribly slick, but definitely rocky and rutted.
Off the descent for a few turns in the grass leading to the second run up. This one is much steeper and has a bigger step-up at the top. Climbing traction is usually good, lots of foot impressions in the dirt/mud. My shoes are typically pretty clogged at the top of this one. Straight shot on hardpack to a right turn up the hill on gravel. This climb will hurt if you’re suffering. This takes you to a right turn into what the organizers have called the “Orchard section”. It’s a series of uphill switchbacks on grass that is bumpy in places. We’ve done this section both up and down hill in the past. It’s a pretty fun section. At the top you’ll go down an easy hardpack descent, across a road, and then hit the second descent that has recently been cut in (the first run up and both descents have been cut in in the past two years). This one is steeper and has some odd lumps, but it’s pretty short. I’m definitely in the drops for this one, especially if it’s wet and my hands are slightly muddy/slippery. It doesn’t look like it from the top, but you want to be on the left side for the best exit.
Back to the field, a few turns until you hit the sand that they trucked in. When we rode it in October there was a turn fairly close to the entrance, so you weren’t hitting it with any kind of speed. I saw people riding it, but depending on your sand skills and that entrance, running might be a good option. I was sick in October and didn’t even try to ride it.
A few more turns and you’re back to the start.
In general the soil there is fairly sandy, i.e. it probably won’t get super muddy. Did you watch the Louisville nationals last year, or the Trek Cup earlier this year? There probably won’t be any sections of just flat out thick mud that forces you off the bike. If it’s raining a lot the field will definitely get slick, but I doubt it will get deep, and it’s totally flat.
Of course, it’s possible that there will be an absolute deluge that renders both descents extremely treacherous, but that’s not terribly likely. Barring that, it will be a fast course with some slick corners, lots of elevation, and two descents where you need to pay attention.
Hope this helps.
Thanks! Appreciate it!
Good luck to all racing this week! Rain has started today and should end tomorrow. I think possible light showers from there on through the weekend. I’ll be there cheering and supporting friends/teammates starting on Friday!
Latest forecast looks like a ton of rain between now and my race at noon on Thursday. Fingers crossed!!
Same here , I race just after you at 2:15
Nice. Did you make it down today? It was just too far for me from Bellingham. I’m heading down tomorrow. Going to ride the course during the open window from 2:30 to 4:15, sleep over, then race before heading home Thursday afternoon. Then will come back on Sunday to watch the pros.
Good luck on Thursday, see you out there!
Driving in from Missoula Mt today, hope to get there to ride a lap.
I’ll be on an orange and blue KTM- can’t miss it . USMES Team .
The MFG instagram has some photos, looks like its starting to get muddy, way more than back in oct
Looks like a mixed relay was today.
A few of my friends posted podium pics.
Seems 3 of the 5 wide angle podium teams were from SoCal.
Who says we can’t race in the mud?
I got in five or six laps this afternoon. After one hard crash and two near misses, I’ll be running the two descents tomorrow. I know I’ll get ridiculed. I saw a bunch of crashes, and the weather is only getting worse now. Try not to heckle me too hard. Course was super fun otherwise. I’m just not interested in breaking myself tomorrow.
I raced Tuesday and Wednesday.
Biggest piece of advice: bring fresh brake pads. This course is devouring them with the mix of sandy soil, mud, and straight up sand. I had nothing left of my front brakes by lap 4 of my race yesterday.
How did it go? Maybe running was the smart choice
After my 1st Thursday afternoon race lap, over the bars tuck and roll clipped in , in log jam traffic, on descent #1, I decided to run as well.
The pro line or the normal descent #1, I would guess both were sketchy. #1 was iffy in pretty good conditions when I rode it back in Oct
Not the UCI, pro lines.
Thursday’s afternoon race it was raining, rode both descents easy in practice , but different after the rain came down and in traffic.