541 starters… yes, that’s an all time record for any CCC race (we averaged 400 in 2009 and maxed out at 474). Thanks to xXx Racing for hosting the official season opener, promoter Greg Heck for designing his best course yet, and major thanks to Natalie Evan and her crew of ladies at registration for keeping all of you in check all day long. Twinkies were back, so was “The Hemme“,  monkey puppets were handing up Oreos, California flew in a raisin, and we’ve even heard rumors of red hot chili peppers. Sister Sprocket awarded the first of 12 Flying Pig Awards to the one and only Flannel Mike (wearing spandex btw), and Verdigris swept the Masters 40+ helping to give them an early lead in the team standings. What a day!

– Up next is CCC #2 Hopkins Park in Dekalb on Sunday October 3rd, hosted by the dynamic duo of North Central Cyclery and Half Acre Cycling. If you missed our original note there will be a new obstacle for everyone to negotiate on course. Hopkins Park will once again also be the site of the 2nd annual OUISCSSC (“Officially Unofficial Illinois State Cyclocross Single Speed Championship“). Find details on Half Acre‘s website. Please don’t show up in Dekalb this coming weekend though… instead head up to WI to watch the pros in the Planet Bike USGP.

– Not sure how we missed it… but Half Acre’s women’s CX clinic had a great turnout, even in the rain. Also coming out to party yesterday… please welcome Half Acre’s newest junior to the U1 division… Elliott Popper.

– If you missed our tweet, the CCC website has a new page… the “Heckle Hall of Fame“. Check it out, read the rules, and add your favorite(s).

– The winning 2010 CCC Series T-Shirt designed as voted on by you the riders of the CCC is the Word Jumper, designed by Burnham Racing’s Julian Baumgartner. We’ll have more details in a little bit and have the shirts for sale on REKLAIM Apparel shortly.

– Julian is also spearheading a project over on the ICA Website called the “Supermodels of the ChiCrossCup” featuring one off and tricked out CX bikes.

Juniors Beginning CX Training had nearly 30 kids last week (a little birdie pony told us so).  Paul Swinand will have a photographer out next week and post some photos on the Facebook page here.

– Upgrade to your road or mtb category. Please note that (if you want to) you can automatically upgrade to your current road or mtb category. See the letter from USAC explaining the rule here.

– Ever wonder where those WBR donations are going? Last week’s NYT had a great Op-Ed article about World Bicycle Relief.

– So you’ve done your first CX race (at least of the season) and you’re hooked. Want to help make the series even better? The CCC could still use some help for the entire series. Email us at ChicagoCrossCup@gmail.com if you are interested in being a part of the series.

– And finally (and this is the last we’ll say on this topic)… While we will certainly give a few people nudges if and when it is clear they should upgrade, and while we would like to encourage all Cat 4’s to pick just one race (either the $A’s or 4B’s to let everyone have a chance to race) and jump in another race if there is room (still only $10 for your 2nd race on race day)… it is not the CCC’s job nor responsibility to hand out mandatory upgrades. If you are worried about not getting a spot in a Cat 4 field, we encourage you to race faster, you to earn your points, and you to upgrade to a higher category. There are always plenty of spots each week in the Cat 1/2/3 and Women 1/2/3 races. Pre-reg for all CCC races has also been open since August 30th, and no category at any event sold out in the first 5 minutes like a Lady Gaga concert… so if you’re still worried about not getting a spot, pre-reg now! You are also welcome to keep track of the people you think are sandbagging and send emails into the USAC upgrade coordinator… but you know what they say about those kinds of things. Okay, now let’s go race!