Hurricane Harvey, which brought unprecedented amounts of rainfall throughout the southern region of the country, has hit the Ohio River valley. Forecasts are calling for up to 6″ of rain throughout Friday, Sept 1st.
At the time of writing, the Cardinal Cup, with its Cross Country and Downhill Courses at Ft. Duffield in West Point, Ky and Short Track races at Eva Bandman Park in the heart of Louisville, is still scheduled to operate as planned on Saturday Sept. 2-3.
This decision to race has not been taken lightly. The Student Cycling Coalition has been in contact with various parties, including the trail managers and builders, track managers at Derby City BMX (for updates regarding Derby City Nationals BMX race), MWCCC conference officials, and various conference team representatives to assess the weather, course conditions, and safety of the athletes participating.
Because Ft. Duffiled is a hilly, old, and seldom-used trail system, the soil drains exceptionally and has seen minimal wear. The Cross Country course will be in excellent shape despite the rain. The downhill course will not see any usage during the cross country races and will be rerouted as needed away from any running water.
Eva Bandman, as it’s flanked on two sides by Beargrass Creek and the Ohio River, is under the threat of some flooding. The short track course has been designed on the elevated portions of the park and will see reroutes as needed.
Onsite registration will be available both days for those interested in racing. You may see the race flyer here.
We have been keeping a close eye on the weather, and are excited to say that both days of racing are still on! The remnants of Hurricane Harvey will be passing through town on Friday, but should be gone by race time on Saturday.
Due to the topography of the park and the design of the trails, Saturday’s Cross Country and Downhill courses should drain well over the next 36 hours and be race worthy by the first race on Saturday. We have been in contact with the trail manager and are confident that both courses will be rideable Saturday, and that both will be able to handle the volume of race traffic we’re expecting without sustaining significant damage. According to the latest report from the National Weather Service, rain should clear up by 8 AM on Saturday.
With a high of 79° F and sunny skies, Sunday should be a beautiful day for the Short Track and Team Relay events at Eva Bandman Park. The course should be fast and dry, and Friday’s rain will have eliminated the dusty conditions we’ve had there the past few weeks.
If you missed pre-registration and still want to race, you can register on-site each day for only $5 more. Hope to see you out there!
The team had a busy weekend, putting in two days of trail maintenance at Ft. Duffield and Eva Bandman Park ahead of the inaugural Cardinal Cup on September 2nd and 3rd. The downhill course at Ft. Duffield received repairs to numerous lips and berms, in addition to reinforcements to steep banks and modifications to rock gardens.
“It is always great to be able to maintain and improve the trails we use,” said Elijah Eisert. Eisert spent the summer building trails and teaching mountain biking in Colorado, and is aiming to qualify for Cross Country Nationals in Missoula, MT this October.
“We were able to put together a course that will be both challenging and fun for experienced gravity riders, and still safely rideable for beginners,” said John Francisco, team president and one of the event’s promoters. The course makes use of a wide variety of jumps, berms, rock gardens, and a wall ride, while still having safer and slower ride-arounds for each obstacle.
The team also did work at Eva Bandman Park to repair features for the Short Track and Team Relay events. This course has been designed to promote exciting, high speed racing while also utilizing some of the park’s technical features. Features include wide grassy sections for easy passing, a few punchy climbs, a mix of wide and tight corners, two optional jumps, and an off-camber climb to the pavement finish.
The Cardinal Cup will be on September 2nd and 3rd, with Cross Country and Downhill events Saturday, 9/2 at Ft. Duffield, and Short Track and Team Relay events Sunday at Eva Bandman Park. Registration and more info at https://uoflcycling.com/cardinalcup/.