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Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Running Up That Hill

Seeing this reminded me that I'd been meaning to post this video of how 'cross courses apparently used to be.

(as GK says 8:32 is where you get to see the mud and pain, but there is some excellent run-up footage a couple of minutes in).

If you are a budding CX course designer (like me!) you have been watching all the p.o.v course videos that are all over the sites looking for ideas.

One thing I've noticed is that US courses often tend towards the grass crit style course and the euro races have more 'challenges' and rely on more technique/skills, mud or not.

This, in fact, has been mentioned as one reason (of a few) why the top US racers tend to struggle over the ocean from home.

Not being a former/budding/current A-grader or road demon I tend to prefer courses that entertain (and maybe challenge) the rider and try and limit the leads those riders with big engines can build on the easier terrain while also making them simple enough that beginners can still complete them. We joked about a 3 flight run-up for Round#2 but ultimately i was going to veto it as it would have been a disaster after 2 laps. Slippery, wet concrete stairs while hyperventilating and carrying a mud-laden bike?

So it should come as no surprise that I was really pumped to watch this clip. There are some tough runups and the course, while flowy looks like it has some good pinchpoints to test the riders bike handling. Add in some barriers and I'd be very happy to race it. Of course like every good cross course I know I'd be hating it by mid-race.

Check out a great post on The Service Course for some interesting history as well (and the original source of the link).

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