Cyclocross is considered one of the fastest growing events in the world of cycling. It is considered a challenge for even the best racers because of the tough conditions on the course. As it turns out, Reno has plenty of challenging terrain and natural obstacles for the 1,500 athletes converging on Rancho San Rafael Park for a huge event this week. The USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships will run from January 9-14.  

Cyclocross athletes race on grass, mud and sand. They navigate difficult terrain and soggy conditions. In fact, some cyclists say the more severe the weather - the better.  The race consists of many laps around a relatively short course which features natural and some man-made obstacles. The bikes are pretty light, too, because competitors need to pick them up and carry them across some of the obstacles. The event focuses on aerobic endurance and bike handling skills. 

Michelle Faurot is competing in the Masters division. She is an accomplished, record-breaking athlete who not only rode across America with a team of female cyclists, she also founded ‘Bike Like a Girl’ – a non-profit that introduces girls and women to the sport of cycling. Despite all of her accomplishments as a cyclist and triathlete, Michelle finds this event challenging.  “That's why I'm doing it. I grew up on a road bike and my triathlon bike and so this sort of stuff is more like mountain biking and I have to learn new stuff, so it's a challenge. It's really fun."

Races run between 30 minutes to an hour and there are events for all ages - including the pros. Several thousand people are expected to come out to watch the pros compete towards the end of the six day event. More than 50 competitors are from our area. 

To learn more about the sport, the course and the race schedule, log on to: