A convergence of the UCI Cyclocross World Championships in Fayetteville and some family in Bentonville resulted in our latest trip: to Arkansas, for the first time (for one of us, anyway). Bentonville is the home of Walmart, and two of the Walton sons are determined to make Northwest Arkansas the country’s premier mountain biking, cyclocross, and gravel riding region. They appear to be succeeding.
The Walton brothers invested in the development of this course in a bid to nab the 2022 cyclocross world championships. It worked.
Men under 23 Division racing when we arrived on Saturday:
The main portage point of the race – 29 steps followed by the biggest drop on the course:
The Belgians swept the podium in the Men under 23 Division – maybe not too surprising, considering the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix?
Start of the Elite Women’s Division race in the VIP section, courtesy of Mike:
A distinctly lower caliber of bikers at Crystal Bridges:
And later at The Hub at the top of the Coler Mountainbike Preserve:
A little air show entertainment on Sunday, while waiting for the Elite Men’s race to start:
Freakin’ hilarious sign on the course for the Elite Mens race:
If you don’t know the reference, consult the picture below and the resulting aftermath from the jackass holding the original version of the sign on the route of the first stage of last year’s Tour de France:
Transitioning from riding to portaging up the stairs like salmon swimming up a fish ladder – freakin’ amazing athletes (British winner Tom Pidcock in the lead):
Last night in Bentonville:
Great trip and great town – we’ll be back!