With just seven weeks to go until we have the world finest cross racers gracing our humble soil at the World Cup in Milton Keynes, we had a chat to the organisers to get a bit more detail about the event.
Grit: What are the most important bits of the course? And are they for the riders or the spectators?
The major feature of the course at Campbell Park is a ridge that runs from the high ‘events plateau’ – where the start/finish and expo and major teams will be – to what is essentially the centre of the course. The course winds up and down its steep sides giving spectators on the high ground a chance to see the riders up close and (possibly) running on four different occasions per lap. You can also see the pits, the zig-zag terrace climb, and the farthest section of the course which skirts around the small wooded areas of the park. Basically you can see everything from up there! There will be a specially built set of steps which the technically gifted should be able to ride, and the classic ‘cross hurdles. The Park naturally lends itself to a cyclocross course so there are no gimmicks just to make it exciting for spectators; it doesn’t need that. It’s a rider’s course and a spectator’s course, how nifty is that?!
Belgian Beer and frites or keeping it English?
The catering for the event will be vast and varied with everything from small snacks to full blown meals. There will be a focus on providing local produce so think Concrete Cow rather than Kriek, but fear not, frites will be on the menu!
How many people are you expecting/would you like to see?
This is a difficult question to answer because there is no real benchmark, plus we all know that people have a strange tendency to wait until the last minute to buy tickets so it’s hard to guess from ticket sales (please don’t do this, we don’t want to run out of mayo!). We wouldn’t be surprised to see 5000 spectators.
What times will the riders start riding (practice etc.) and how much chance will we get to see them outside of the racing?
The first official training runs from 1400-1600 on Friday 28th, but riders may well chose to be out on course, on the road or on their rollers earlier than this. On Saturday official training begins at 0900 and then takes place in between the races. Spectators can expect to see most of the field out on course prior to their warm up and gridding. The big teams will be parked up in the event village, and the smaller teams will be parked along Avebury Boulevard which runs along side Campbell Park and will be closed to traffic. Here spectators can see the riders as they prepare for practice and racing; it’s a great chance to get a photo and chat with the teams. There will be wifi at the venue and we are all for selfies and hastagging the hind legs off #MiltonKeynesWCX!
Will we be able to look at the pits, mechanics, team set ups etc.?
Absolutely! Like I say, there is a fantastic vantage point of the pits from the ridge, and we are taking a lot of time to set out the event village so the team set-ups are accessible. Spectators will really feel like they are in amongst it. With the Flandriencross Hamme race the following day (Sunday 30th), it is likely that many of the European riders will disappear back to Belgium to keep their BPost Bank Trofee hopes alive. However, there are some big names who have expressed an interest in staying in Milton Keynes and riding the British National Trophy on Sunday, so there will be another chance to see – or even race with – some international cyclocross stars.
What can we expect from the expo stands?
Everything from big bike brands like our major sponsors, Trek and Ridley, to Big Bobble Hats and Wildoo Performance Cycling Products. There will be an ‘indoor’ expo area up in the event village containing eight stands, as well as big set ups like that of Madison.
As the exclusive media partner to the event, you can look forward to a whole heap of info, exclusives detail as we get closer to race day itself. Don’t forget, grit.cx are producing the official program too, and will have special subs and members gifts at the easy up in the expo area. We would love to tell you more, but we’d have to shoot you or something. Trust us though, it will be well worth making sure you pop by to say hello.
You have got your tickets, right?