On the heels of last week’s announcement of a 2021-2022 UCI Cyclocross World Cup season that will begin with 3 dates in the United States comes today’s big news: the 2021 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships will be held in suburban Chicago, December 7-12. It’s a do-over for Cantigny Park in Wheaton IL, whose plans to host the 2020 championships were wiped out by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This news has obvious ramifications for the Wisconsin cyclocross schedule, as our state association recognizes that many of our racers will participate in a national championship week so close to home. With top domestic pros and many amateurs competing on the prior weekend at the UCI Pan American Cyclocross Championships in Oklahoma, don’t be surprised to see a USA Cycling regional championship on December 4 or 5 somewhere in the Upper Midwest. And if that happens, then look for the Wisconsin state championships no later than November 27 or 28.
For what it’s worth, Illinois and Wisconsin typically hold their state championships on consecutive weekends, and there’s some cross-pollination—no pun intended—by racers who want to compete even if they are ineligible for another state’s title. But that won’t be the case this year: the Illinois championships will be held on October 2 in downstate Beardstown.
If that seems awfully early and awfully far away from Chicago, then you’re not wrong. But the Chicago Cyclocross Cup pulled the plug on its season early in 2020, leaving Beardstown as the only applicant for the state championships. Those races ultimately were not held due to the pandemic, but Beardstown’s bid will carry over to this season.