Major cycling event relies on UI Sports Medicine for care

As hundreds of professional and amateur cyclists and thousands of spectators convene in Iowa City for the 2016 Volkswagen Jingle Cross Cyclo-Cross Festival September 23-25, UI Sports Medicine staff will be there to help keep all of them healthy.

UI Sports Medicine is the official medical provider for Jingle Cross. Britt Marcussen, MD, UI clinical associate professor of Family Medicine, and Matt Doyle, athletic trainer and director of UI’s athletic training residency program, serve as co-medical directors of the event. They lead a team of about a dozen volunteers—including sports medicine fellows, residents, and medical and athletic training students—that will be on site for the event.

Cyclo-cross is a grueling form of bicycle racing that takes place on a short course of varying surfaces, including grass, mud, sand, and steep climbs. The action includes lots of quick acceleration, sudden stops, and tight turns. Riders are often forced to dismount and carry their bikes to conquer obstacles on the course. Scrapes, bruises, muscle strains, and even a few broken bones are inevitable.

This year’s event is special because it also serves as a stop on the official cyclo-cross World Cup tour. Professional cyclo-cross racers from more than 20 nations compete on Saturday, while dozens of amateur races for various age groups and skill levels fill out the rest of the weekend’s schedule.

This wide range of participants—from elite pros to weekend warriors to eager novices—is an ideal showcase for the type of care that UI Sports Medicine delivers every day.

“We do take care of the World Cup athletes,” Marcussen says, “but most of the people we’ll see are regular folks who just want to go out for a ride.”

Marcussen, whose experience includes providing care at international skiing events, says the UI Sports Medicine Jingle Cross effort is comprehensive, with a truly multidisciplinary team.

“The medical coverage for this event is a lot more robust than some of the European World Cup events I’ve attended,” he says.

Jingle Cross is one of a number of community events and organizations that partner with UI Sports Medicine through its Outreach Program.