Panda with a plan …

US UCI Cyclocross Schedule Overview

In her recent rider diary on CX magazine Amanda Nauman talked about the up and coming cross season and how she will more than likely not be able to race her favorite race of all, Cross Vegas. If I were her I would be more worried about the fact it was her best result of 2014/15 and anchors a large portion (almost ¼) of her points to her current ranking.

In my view, her odds of racing in Vegas are worse than at the craps tables just down the road. There are simply WAY too many girls ahead of her, 23 to be exact, each with sponsors who will want them on the start line. Worse off, it’s a shame that she won’t be on the start line because the overall numbers won’t be there. To many of the Euro women are running on tight budgets and a multi-stop round about trip to North American is just going to cost to much for many who won’t be pulling off a top 15. So what should Amanda (Panada) Nauman do?

Panda needs a plan …the plan is 230 points.

Now I don’t know Amanda personally, just from the world of Twitter, but here is what I would do if I were her and had an open schedule to plan to attend races.

My first suggestion is to play the long game. The way the points structure is in CX if you aren’t racing the World Cups, it’s VERY hard to get ahead and make it into the Top 50, but once you are there, you are guaranteed starts in all the WC races (a singular problem of US Women and Belgian Men’s teams), thus ensuring you are garnishing maximum available points. This abundance of points will be further amplified because this year as the two world cups take place BEFORE the previous years World Cup races began. Why is this important? Because NONE of the World Cup points earned the previous year will be dropped after the first two world cups. Which means the girls (and guys) who are racing them will likely be adding points without losing or maintaing points.

First off, after the first ranking, Panda is going to drop 15 points from her top grossing result, which will put her another row back and make getting into Montreal even harder. So what would I race. Here is the schedule I would take:

Sep 13th, 2015 –  EKZ CrossTour – Baden – C1

(then big altitude block in Switzerland)

Sep 26th, 2015 – Trek CXC Cup – C1

Sep. 27th, 2015 – Trek CXC Cup – C2

Thought Process: Start the season in Switzerland at a C1 which will be less attended because many euro girls will not want to travel to there, then travel to Vegas, then Montreal all in the span of a week. Use that time to sharpen the legs at altitude and head to Wisconsin for the Trek CXC cup for more UCI C1 points as the weekend is split with Gloucester which despite being two C2’s hold a good bit of prestige for many, keeping many east coast girls away from the Trek CXC Cup.

Oct. 3rd, 2015 – KMC Cyclo-Cross Festival – C1

Oct. 4th, 2015 – KMC Cyclo-Cross Festival – C2

Oct. 10th, 2015 – Full Moon Vista – Ellison Park Cyclocross Festival – C2

Oct. 11th, 2015 – Full Moon Vista – Ellison Park Cyclocross Festival – C2

Oct. 17th, 2015 – HPCX #1 – C2

Oct. 18th, 2015 – HPCX #2- C2

Oct. 24th, 2015 – Bellingham Veldrijden – C2

Oct. 25th, 2015 – Bellingham Veldrijden – C2

Oct. 31st, 2015 – Cincy3

Nov. 1st, 2015 – Pan Am Continental Cyclocross Championships


Oct. 3rd, 2015 – KMC Cyclo-Cross Festival – C1

Oct. 4th, 2015 – KMC Cyclo-Cross Festival – C2

(travel to Belgium)

Oct. 10th, 2015 – De Grote Prijs van Brabant – C1

Oct. 11th, 2015 – GP Mario de Clerq – Ronse – C1

Oct. 15th, 2015 – Kermiscross – C2

Oct. 18th, 2015 – UCI World Cup #3 – Valkenberg

Oct. 20th, 2015 – Kiremko Nacht van Woerden – C2

Oct. 25th, 2015 – National Trophy Series Round 2, GBR – C2

Nov. 1st, 2015 – EKZ CrossTour – Hittnau – C1

Thought Process: Two routes to take one is sticking exclusively to the US and hitting up as many of the races as possible. if I had to skip a weekend it is which ever weekends course didn’t suit you as long as.

The more cheeky option being the second is heading for a Europe road trip. The Valkenberg World Cup will have many points available (and most likely have space available for a US woman) as only 37 girls raced last year, meaning there is likely 20+ points available for just finishing. Actually, getting pulled at any point over the halfway point of the race will still get you points. There are two solid C1’s before Valkenberg, one C2 and finally a C2 after the race. Then get really cheeky and race the second round of the GB’s trophy series where the level is not super high and points can be found. Then go hit up the C1 in Hittnau the week after to chase some more C1 points. That C1 had only 21 girls, conflicts with Koppenberg and the Pan Am Champs.

Nov. 7th and 8th – Derby City – C1 & C2

Nov. 14th and 15th – Charm City – C1 & C2

Nov. 21st, 2015 – GP Hasselt – C1

Nov. 22nd, 2015 – Koksijde – World Cup

Thought Process: Two solid US weekends with C1 points to chase, followed up by a C1 the day before the World Cup (most likely can score a result and maybe get start money) and again, Koksijde saw 37 Women scored last year, so at least 20 points possible.

At this point you are going to be getting tired, so a weekend off would be smart, get some recoup, but then I would head down to Texas for a training block with some racing.

6th and 7th – Ruts N Guts -OKC – C2’s

12th and 13th – Resolution ‘Cross Cup – Dallas – C2’s

19th and 20th – Highlander ‘Cross Cup – Waco – C2’s

Thought Process: These are going to be by and large the best block of C2 races where points will be easier to come by than almost any other time. The weather can/should be decent to log in some great miles between weekends. Overall, lots of good racing and training to be had. If you have been selected for the World Cup on the 20th, skip that USA weekend and go get your points there! Only 40 girls on the results last year, minimum 20 points to be had.

Now here is where you have another choice, if you did get selected for the World Cup, you are in Belgium, relaxing for the Christmas period at The Chainstay and will hopefully be selected for the next world cup in Zolder. Here you will likely gain less points as there are lots of girls who will come because it is where Worlds will be held in less than a month. If you are here, it’s game on for the CX period, but it’s time to be sneaky. If no World Cup, do the Grand-Prix GEBA in Luxembourg on the same day. The following day is Diegem, rest day, Loenhout, and then follow up with doing Treeland on the 1st in Luxemburg (good sneaky points to be had)

At this point it’s nationals to get ready for. Nationals will normally be the end of the season, but if you can, I would look into getting starts to the final two World Cups, especially the French one, as it will be less attended than Hoogerheide (and a start is almost assured).

Making the worlds team … well that would be a great accomplishment, but to be honest, the level is so high in the US women’s cross that you are going to have to have pulled off an auto qualifier (which gets tougher each year) for it be a given.

At this point I would look to end the season, or if you are on the cusp of almost being there points wise. Attending the last weekend of racing in Belgium/Holland when motivation is just about the lowest for most of the field and you might a chance a solid result after being a bit fresher.

That said, looking at the schedule I would realistically do this:

QianSen Trophy Cyclocross – China (if it happens) – C1

Sep 26th and 27th, 2015 – Trek CXC Cup – C1 & C2

Oct. 3rd and 4th, 2015 – KMC Cyclo-Cross Festival – C1 & C2

** US to Belgium flight #1**

Oct. 18th, 2015 – UCI World Cup #3 – Valkenberg

Oct. 20th, 2015 – Kiremko Nacht van Woerden – C2

Oct. 25th, 2015 – National Trophy Series Round 2, GBR – C2

Nov. 1st, 2015 – EKZ CrossTour – Hittnau – C1

** Belgium to US flight **

Nov. 7th and 8th, 2015 – Derby City – C1 & C2

Nov. 14th and 15th, 2015 – Charm City – C1 & C2

** US to Belgium flight #2**

Nov. 21st, 2015 – GP Hasselt – C1 or (LA CX Weekend)

Nov. 22nd, 2015 – UCI World Cup #4 – Koksijde or (LA CX Weekend)

** Belgium to US flight **

Dec. 6th and 7th, 2015 – Ruts N Guts -OKC – C2’s

Dec. 12th and 13th, 2015 – Resolution ‘Cross Cup – Dallas – C2’s

** US to Belgium flight #3**

Dec 20th, 2015 – UCI World Cup #5 – Namur

Dec. 26th, 2015 – UCI World Cup #6 – Zolder

Dec. 27th, 2015 – Diegem – C1

Dec. 29th, 2015 – Loenhout – C1

Jan. 1st, 2015 – Treeland, LUX – C2

** Belgium to US flight #4**

Jan. 10th, 2016 – US Nationals

** US to Belgium flight **

Jan. 17th, 2016 – UCI World Cup #7- Lignières-en-Berry

Jan. 24th, 2016 – UCI World Cup #8 – Hoogerheide

** Belgium to US flight **

26 races over the season

6 – World Cups

1 – Nationals

9 – C1 Races

11 – C2 Races


Doing 6 World Cup races should have provided at least half of the total you are searching for; with 130 points not an unreasonable total to assume. This leaves around 100 points that you need to gain from C1’s and C2’s. Nationals is super top heavy on points, so we won’t assume points will come from there. But the sneaky C2 in England (banking 20 points for a 3rd or possibly better), Hittnau C1 for 30 points, GP Treeland C2 should net you another 20, the C2’s in Texas and Oklahoma with some form could bring you those last 30 points you need to get over the 230 points. It will take at least 4 International flights to Europe (not including the US domestic flights) but you will get there. If I had to skip one World Cup it would be Koksijde as the travel is a lot of one race that is super specialist. If you don’t know how to ride sand, it will be an experience. Bonus is you can do the local California UCI CX weekend in LA.

And there you go, top 50 in the UCI ranking and a guaranteed spot in the following years first World Cup. Vegas 2016 here you come … but you have gained all these points, time to keep chasing races to so you can keep them. And the vicious cycle of UCI cross continues 🙂

Read more about Amanda on her blog.