The USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships reached all-time record number of participants and spectators last year and it will surely put an exclamation point on the end of the American cyclo-cross season on 8-12 December in host city of Bend, Oregon.
"I heard that there were more than 1,700 people in town just for the one event, and our tent and traveling beer barrel were busy the whole weekend," said Doug LaPlaca of Visit Bend. "Our preliminary estimate is that 'cross nationals 2009 generated $1.7 million in direct consumer spending and approximately 3,200 paid room nights in Bend lodging properties.
The crowds in Bend were record setting
"I have very high expectations for 'cross nationals, but even my expectations were exceeded last year. Of all the major events I have produced during my career, I have never been involved with one that has generated so much positive feedback and goodwill than 'cross nationals did last year."
Reigning US national cyclo-cross champions Tim Johnson (Cannondale -Cyclocrossworld.com) and Katie Compton (Planet Bike) will no doubt want to defend their respective titles in the men's and women's events for the second consecutive season on the challenging course held in the popular Old Mill District of Bend.
"For a one-day race, Nationals have a little something extra about them," Johnson said. "Bend's Nationals last year had so many people, both racers and fans, the course was sinuous and tough with a side of nasty weather thrown in. Even if I hadn't been lucky enough to win, I would still have that in my top three races of all time."