– Is this the last race of 2011 season or the first of the 2012 season? We’ll let you be the judge but we’re going to have a good time either way! This weekend the Chicago Cyclocross Cup hosts the 2011 Chicago Cyclocross Cup New Year’s Resolution presented by the Chicago Cyclocross Cup… too much? We at the CCC encourage everyone to bundle up, bring your cowbells and cameras, and spend the weekend at the wonderful Hilton Indian Lakes Resort (ILR)… which means the Cat 4’s should show up early and heckle the 40+ field, and the Masters should stick around and cheer on the Cat 4’s. Plenty to discuss below so you may want to fuel up before proceeding…

Tech Guide: Pretty much everything you need to know is here. We didn’t write this thing for fun, so please review it. More info is also on our NYR page here.

– Registration: Online pre-reg closed last night at midnight. For the locals, we’ll be running reg the same way as every other CCC race. Please allow all 40+ & 50+ racers to reg first since they have to get ready first. If you’re coming out to race for the first time or you’re traveling in from another part of the country (or Canada) we’re glad you’re here. Just bring your USAC and/or Intl license to the registration room (yes we accept the USAC phone app). If you pre-reg’d we’ll have your USAC release form pre-filled for you in a big blue binder. Sign your release, grab your number and go. Day-Of registrants will need to see the lovely MsChiCrossCup behind the computer to be entered into a race.

– Speaking of the USAC phone app, if you are racing on Sunday (1/1/12) PLEASE renew your annual USAC license online at USACycling.org before arriving at the venue. Annual licenses purchased on or after 12/1/11 are good until 12/31/2012 and you must have a 2012 license to race on Sunday 1/1/12.

Waitlists:  The Cat 2/3 and Junior 15/18 races are in the same starting wave and we have a 100 rider field limit on course at the same time. If you missed out we’ll be running a waitlist both days. See the ‘Registration’ section in the tech guide for a full explanation of the Day-Of waitlist procedure.

UCI Staging: Staging for the UCI Women and Men races is by UCI points and then drawing random lots for riders without UCI points. If you do NOT have UCI points you need to make sure you draw your random lot, otherwise you will be staged at the back of the field.

Amateur Staging: The NYR is NOT a CCC series race and we will be using CrossResults.com points to stage all amateur categories. While we will post full results to USAC Saturday evening those results will NOT update CrossResults.com points for Sunday. Hey, its New Year’s Eve, we want to celebrate too!

– Preliminary staging for all categories for both days (except random staging for UCI racers w/out UCI points and obviously day-of registrants) will be posted here no later than Friday morning (12/30/11). Please note there are two worksheets (one for Saturday, one for Sunday). Also, since we don’t have onsite access to the CrossResults.com points database, all non-UCI day-of registrants will be staged at the back of their fields based on order of registration.

– Podiums presentations for each race will occur immediately after each race finish on the stage near the finish line (part of the large gray trailer… you can’t miss it), so pay attention during and after your race, we may be calling your name! The full prize list will be posted at registration on race day.

Results: Results will be posted to USACycling.org here the evening after each race. If time permits we may update results throughout the day. Results are NOT just about your placing though. As with all other CCC series and Chicagoland races we’ll have posts up here on the CCC site each afternoon where we encourage you to post links in the comment section to your Flickr/Picasa/etc pictures & videos and race reports/blogs.

Weather: Well, we were preparing for the worst and somehow lucked out. The forecast for the weekend has temps in the low to mid 40’s with partly sunny skies. We’re sure many of you were hoping for several feet of snow to show off your new fat bikes, but it just wasn’t meant to be. That being said, make sure to bring plenty of warm clothes for after your race so you can stick around and heckle.

– Speaking of… you will be heckled… period. You might not even be racing when it happens. If you’re coming in from out of town and haven’t experienced Chicago’s style of  CX heckling, at best you may be taken aback, and at worst quite offended. If you thought Georgia Gould took some good digs earlier in the season, you haven’t seen nothin’ yet. But don’t worry, its all just for fun… but we’ll let Chicago’s head heckler and the Don Rickles of CX… Mr. Rob Curtis of PSIMET explain.

– If you’re into more professional presentations… Richard Fries and Todd Busteed will be announcing the race, and Kelly Minx Riordan will be hostessing the awards and podiums.

– Our friends at SRAM will be pouring free hot chocolate at their tent in Pro-Row in the morning to help take off some of the chill. Swing by, say hello, and check out & ride the new Red Grouppo!

– Speaking of… everyone’s favorite mechanic Jose Alcala will be manning the equipment pits both days with SRAM Neutral support. We don’t expect too much mud (if any), but if there is some ILR will have their golf cart washing hose turned on up near the clubhouse.

Merchandise: If you ordered CCC merchandise you can pick it up in the registration room. We will also have CCC Contigo coffee mugs, CCC signature Mad Alchemy Embrocation, and CCC Sock Guy socks for sale. Cash, check, or credit!

The Hotel: There’s a big reason we’re hosting a cyclocross race on a golf course in suburban Illinois on New Year’s Eve and Day… the Hilton Indian Lakes Resort and casino. ILR has many amenities including hotel rooms mere steps away from the course, indoor bathrooms, showers, two restaurants, a spa, pool, a hottub (looking at you Jeremy Powers), plenty of parking, and last but certainly not least… The Cave. There is WiFi in the hotel but the signal isn’t great outside of the main lobby in some of the guest rooms. We suggest bringing an Ethernet cable. ILR will be running an all day buffet special at the Master’s Clubhouse adjacent to the registration room and finish line. There’s also a bar in case you want to, you know, ring in the new year a little early.

– Speaking of, the CCC will be hosting an informal party and meet & greet with several pro (and non-pro) riders at the The Cave bar (in the hotel atrium) Saturday evening. Stop by to have a drink, say hello to old and new friends, and ring in the New Year in the best way we know how… with a CX party.

Course Crossings: There are four official pedestrian course crossingsPlease use them to cross the course safely. We still need a few course marshals as well. Please contact us if you have some time to spare on race day.

Bathrooms: Spot-a-pots, Port-o-lets, Lepri-cans… call them what you will. Several are located right next to the staging area. Indoor bathrooms (and showers) are just inside the clubhouse doors to the right, close to registration.

The Course: The CCC series race at ILR in November is a perennial favorite. Sand traps, fairways, roughs, a little mud, dodging flying golf balls… ILR has it all. The NYR course is slightly different (thankfully no one will be golfing) and goes the opposite direction (anti-clockwise) but uses many of the same course features including, yes, the sand traps. After racing at Badger Cross on the tentative CX Nationals course we tweaked the NYR course to better prepare racers for next weekend in Verona, WI. Staging is on the asphalt cart path at the Northern most edge of the course. The entrance to the staging grid is on the North section of crowd barriers, adjacent to Pro-Row. The course will be ready for pre-riding Friday afternoon.

– The NYR course runs anti-clockwise and can be broken into 4 sections… 1 power section followed by 1 power/technical section, 1 technical section, and then a final power section.

  1. The start takes the course on a quick trip through Club Row and then heads up a small incline and past the Finish Line. A sweeping dog-leg left takes the course around a set of t-boxes to the first grass section. Winding around to the left the course passes to the opposite side and tail end of Club Row and heads South out onto the course proper. After a few off camber turns the first real obstacle is the off camber hill located at the far South West corner of the course.
  2. The course then straightens out in a fast power section heading towards the Eastern edge of ILR’s property. Two 180’s and then then course winds back to the first entrance to the equipment pits.
  3. After exiting the pits the course doubles back on itself to the inside and heads South again. After the first two crushed limestone sand pits riders will be greeted by the one and only UCI regulation maximum height double barriers. Making full use of all of the terrain and 3 other sand pits the course twist and turns its way back to the main incline at the South Western edge of the course. Any wet weather will cause this section (actually on the driving range) to become muddy.
  4. After negotiating the hill for the 2nd and last time the course straightens out into the final long, par 4, power section heading straight towards the finish and Club Row. After a quick trip through several real sand pits the course turns 90 degrees to the right for a final pass through the equipment pits. A sweeping 180 to the left on the cart path turns the course back to the West, past the staging grid and Club Row, and up the small incline to the finish line.