A World Championship event, regardless of discipline is a captivating experience. The crowd’s energy is intoxicating and the environment is nothing short of a dream for any super-fan. The Cyclocross World Championships is just that experience and I am just that super-fan. As the first time coming to North America, the Norco crew made the trip from Toronto to Louisville Kentucky to be a part of the festivities.
One thing I didn’t know about Louisville is that it can get mighty cold. We were setting up to Norco area on Friday morning in a casual -15C when we heard that three tornadoes had touched down overnight nearby. Needless to say, the wind chill bit a little harder than usual. Sounds easy for a bunch of hardened Canadians though, right?
Friday afternoon a racers meeting was called where we learned that ALL races that were supposed to take place on Sunday were moved to Saturday. Two full days of racing would be compressed into one making for one very busy day. The rescheduling was done as organizers feared that higher than average water from the bay could potentially become a serious issue on Sunday and flood the course.
Saturday morning came quickly and from around 8am the park started to fill with racers and spectators. The Norco booth was set up where we had our pit area and showed off a selection of Killer-B, Shinobi, Team 9, Valence, Tactic, and of course, Threshold bikes. The fans kept themselves occupied with the festivities and expo until the 10am mark neared then focus shifted to racing. In about 20 minutes we had rid the booth of 400 cowbells and the crowd became alive with noise cheering the racers who gathered here from near and far.
Estimates on the number of people out for the event varied put I would put it at a minimum of 15,000. One of the best things about the event was the eclectic fan base that we saw screaming at the riders. From your Belgian super-fan who took an international flight to come watch, to the people that hadn’t been on a bike in 15 years they were all out and excited to be a part of such a massive and entertaining event. Who knows, maybe after the weekend some of the more casual spectators were even inspired to head to their local bike shop and get back on a bike?
The Norco Factory team riders were awesome and it was fantastic to see so many Thresholds tearing it up out on the course. Team Canada’s best result of the entire weekend was on a Threshold SL! I want to pass along a massive congratulations to Factory Team riders Andrew L’Esperance who finished 35th, on the same lap as the winner and team newcomer Evan McNeely who DNF’d with a crash but looked to be on his way to a top 15 finish. Andrew and Evan rode extremely well along with the other Team Canada members who came out to pin it against the fastest riders in the world.
Tornadoes, snow, and flooding, that sounds like Cyclocross to me! By Sunday morning flooding had submerged the race course so moving the events to Saturday was a great call by the organizers. This was an amazing event and now I am already counting down the days until Cross season can start all over again.
Norco Employee/Cyclocross Super-Fan