More CX course rankings for 2010

By Christian on January 3rd, 2011

Here’s my list. Mine pretty closely align with my best races, but I do best on courses where I can stay on my bike and maintain speed. Oddly enough, I like those courses best.

1. Kreuger’s Crossing
A bonfire, pumpkin barriers, swampy barriers, a hay-bale hill, and a great atmosphere made this course uniquely CX. The weather was cold (snowing), and the course slick, but if you stayed focused, upright, and grinding, it would reward you for putting to use the skills and tenacity you honed during the season.
2. Battle at Barlow
For my race the mud was still rideable, so this probably moves it up my list relative to everyone else. What stands out in my mind on this course is the epic hill. One of the things I love about CX is that it’s man (and machine) against nature. You felt it on this course in a big way.
3. Cross Crusade: Clatsop County Fairgrounds (Astoria) – Day 1
I flipped the days on this relative to Nat. I liked that the hills were more or less rideable in this direction, and that the run-up was better. Atmosphere was fantastic too.
4. USGP of Cyclocross – Day 2
I agree with Nat that riding a fully taped course is something every CX racer should try at some point, and perhaps the same could be said for just riding a USGP course. I think that here in Oregon we get used to a certain style of CX, and that’s not necessarily what they do around the country and in Pro-style courses. You could hit 30mph on the flats on this course, the barriers were an afterthought, and there was no significant hill. That’s not all bad, just different. The other cool thing about the USGP was that at this point in the season it’s all the die-hards, plus the ultra-die-hards coming in from around the country. Fun.
5. Cross Crusade: Clatsop County Fairgrounds (Astoria) – Day 2
Barely-rideable descents dropped this course down my list. Don’t get me wrong, it was fun, and maybe it was the hangover, but this wasn’t my fav.
6. Pain+Suffer’n CX
I think the bad rep this course gets is because people aren’t in shape yet. In October if you could magically go to 70F weather and jump a log in a barely rutted field and be more prepared for that run-up, you’d be stoked for this race.
7. Cross Crusade: Sherwood Forest Equestrian Center
This course kicks the shit out of you. If you’re technically solid, you’ll do well. If you can climb like a goat, you’ll do well. If you can do both, you’ll win.
8. Hood River Double Cross – Day 2
If this course had a little more variation I’d have put it higher, but maybe the lack of variation is what made it so cool. The fact that this course was so wide open meant that you could really see where the race was. Now in my case, an early fall meant that I was chasing down the leaders the whole race, but on another course I would have been blind to their position, but here I could open up and really focus on where I stood. Also, the paddock of mud was a great technical challenge for early in the season, and fantastic for spectating.
9. USGP of Cyclocross – Day 1
Really, this should probably be closer to day 2, as the courses were very similar, but whatever.
10. Cross Crusade: Washington County Fair Complex (Hillsboro)
Similar to HR2XD2, this was flat and wide open. The muddy off-camber offered an interesting technical challenge (and great spectating), and otherwise the course was rideable if you kept your head down.
11. Cross Crusade: Rainier High School
This could be the best course in Oregon with a little work. An epic descent with large, open, sweeping curves, and a challenging climb that more courses should emulate, this course asks of you all that you have. I don’t know that this should be the final race of The Crusade, but second to last would see more people ready for what it throws at you. The organizers need to find a way to shed water from the course such that it doesn’t become a death march through the woods, and the narrow paths next the fence are probably a little dangerous.
12. Cross Crusade: Barton Park
Maybe it’s the weather, maybe it’s the open cesspools, but this course doesn’t rate well for me. That said, the steep drop is awesome, as is the run-up to the finish.
13. Hood River Double Cross Day 1
Lack of room to pass led to minor accidents, and boneheaded course layout made this downright dangerous on the bridge. Toss in a course marshall on an ego-trip, and this was one of my least favorite races of the year.
14. Cross Crusade: Alpenrose Dairy
Atmosphere here is awesome, but at some point the number of people is just ridiculous. The new back section on this course left something to be desired, and overall the course just seemed uninspired. Still, it was a fun day.
15. Blind Date at the Dairy Series
I feel like I’m turning into an Alpenrose hater, but in this case I just don’t like racing in the dark. Right Krissy?
16. OBRA CCX Championship
Good climbs and a neat descent made parts of this course fun. Unrideable sections, sketchy off-cambers, random poles, and dangerous transitions made parts of this course really not fun. If there was one saving grace, though, this course gave you the opportunity to put some of the tactics you’d learned during the season to good use. I’ll give it that.
17. Cross Crusade: Portland International Raceway
This was just one long mud bog. Not really all that fun. Maybe we should have headed up to Seattle…

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