Okay, so I've seen a fair number of posts extolling cyclo-cross. As someone who still doesn't really get it, could you help me understand a few things?
Okay, several questions:
1. I've noticed on a post for photos from the Cross Vegas event that cyclo-cross riders are on teams. Are there actual team tactics in cyclo-cross? Or is it strictly just a sponsorship thing? The few cyclo-cross races I've seen have had awfully quick selections of the strongest riders riding well ahead of the others for pretty much the whole race. Not much team play there.
2. What place, if any, do tactics have at all? Obviously it's more true on a hilly classic than on Cav Day #7 at the Tour, but a road race can have so, so much in the way of tactics. Are there any tactics in cyclo-cross, or is it just balls-to-the wall racing? Is that the principal appeal, if so?
3. To what extent do the courses figure into who wins/is likely to win? Do you look at a course and say "this favors X rider and Y rider, it's a bad course for Z rider" ? What makes a course that way, if so? Are there often courses where it's difficult to predict who will thrive? Are there usually courses where it's difficult to predict who will thrive?
4. Has there ever been any kind of effort to get cyclo-cross into the Olympics? That's really the ultimate way to engender respect for your sport discipline, and get people to see it. I mean, they have table tennis in the Olympics, for cryin' out loud. Would there be too much concern over one country winning everything? Again, I refer back to table tennis.
I'll probably think of more once the answers start rolling in :P