This weekend in the United States brings only three UCI races are all part of the three-day JingleCross Rock event in Iowa City, IA. The organizers fully embrace the upcoming Holidays with reference to Dr Seuss' The Grinch all over the venue, with the run-up-it to Mt. Krumpit where spectators can see over 90% of the race from atop the craggily peak to a green painted sand-filled scale house aptly named the Grinch's Lair and log barriers known as Yule Logs.With slight modifications for each day, the course between 3.3 and 3.5 km, at the Johnson County Fairgrounds always makes the 100-foot (or more) climb of Mt Krumpit as its main difficulty.
The rain and mud so prevalent in the past few years, making the descent a slip and slide, will not be present this year with dry conditions and highs around 57 F in the forecast. It should make the course much faster.
With Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) taking a break, the door is wide open in the elite men's races. Ryan Trebon (Cannondale-cyclocrossworld.com) and Ben Berden (Raleigh-Clement) are two of the favorites for the win but Trebon's teammates Tim Johnson and Jamey Driscoll cannot be discounted. Both Johnson and Driscoll claimed a win last year at the event. Also missing from the event is US mountain-bike national champion Todd Wells (Specialized) who typically started his cross season at the event – with a win. Powers' teammate Chris Jones (Rapha-Focus) will be looking to get on his first podium and is a man to watch in the dry conditions.
Favorite in the elite women's race has to be European Champion Helen Wyman (Kona) in the last race in the United States this season until the World Championships. Previous winner Meredith Miller (CalGiant/Specialized) will be skipping this year as she is recovering from hand surgery. Other riders to watch include Julie Krasniak (Rapha-Focus) and Teal Stetson-Lee (Luna). The top 15 elite women will be awarded the same prize money as the top 15 elite men over the course of the entire Jingle Cross weekend.
Elite women start at 6:30 pm for Friday's C2 nighttime race followed by the elite/under23 men at 7:30 pm . The schedule is the same for Saturday's C2 and Sunday's C1 races, the women start at 1:45 pm and the men at 2:24 pm – all times are CST.