Racers and participants enjoyed a rather balmy winter day for the last day of the USA Cyclocross National Championships in Bend. If you ever go to a Cyclocross, make sure to take your cowbell. More than 8000 spectators watched the event Sunday and 1600 racers journeyed to Bend for the Wednesday through Sunday event. John DuFont is a spectator from Bend: “I don't want to see anybody crash, I like the strength and endurance that they have. Their poise and balance is exceptional, they are amazing.” What about the racers, what do they like? Cody Peterson is with Hutch's Bicycles: “The pain, riding when it hurts, looking at the next guy suffering, and wanting to give it that little bit extra.” Katie Compton of Colorado Springs and Todd Wells of Durango, Colorado were winners in the Sunday's elite races.
Meanwhile, we won't know the full economic impact for another month of the just completed USA Cyclocross National Championships. But preliminary numbers show the event gave a tremendous off-season shot in the arm to the region's tourism. “Preliminary estimates would reflect direct tourism spending, meaning the money coming out of the tourist's pockets and into cash registers of local businesses at just over a million dollars. It will probably fall at about $1.1- $1.3 million. And then the long term economic impact and the secondary spin will take the total economic impact to between $1.5 and $2 dollars.” Doug La Placa of Visit Bend says about 3500 visitors came from almost every state to either race or watch. It's about the same size as the other national cycling championship events, but La Placa says the biggest impact of this event is that it occurred during the off season. This is the final year of the two year USA Cyclocross Championship contract with the cycling organization but La Placa says the event was so successful he is sure Cyclocross will be back in the future.