Cyclo-Cross (often abbreviated to “Cross”) is generally an autumn and winter sport. Massed starts make for exciting races, usually no more than an hour in length for seniors and shorter for Under 12s, youths, juniors, women and veterans.
There are races for younger riders in the North West league, these are very well attended. The Cyclo-Cross league in the North West region is strong and lively with a number of national level riders coming from the North West.
Cyclocross is mainly a racing discipline of cycling, fast and off-road. Many riders start with a Mountain Bike, then progress to a more specialist cyclocross bike.
Your First Race:
Cyclocross is one of the best places for youngsters to have a go at racing a bike. Good atmosphere, plenty of mud, soft landings, good competition, and you can use just about any bike.
Lapping it Up!
Cyclo-Cross races are usually multi lap events, held on short (typically between 2.5 and 3.5km in length for adults), grassy courses, generally in public parks or on school playing fields. Shorter courses are used for Youth categories, and less demanding for the Under12 categories.
Less technically demanding than Mountain Biking, Cyclo-Cross often requires riders to dismount to clear artificial obstacles, such as wooden boards.
The ability to swap smoothly and quickly from riding to running and back to riding in one fluid motion is a key skill for advanced riders.
The short lap lengths mean that better riders will lap the slower competitors. That’s not the end of the race as you can submerge yourself in the action, enjoy your own private battles and forget whether you are first or a hundred and that’s the beauty of the sport: it’s what you make of it that counts.
Cyclo-Cross bikes look very similar to road bikes, with dropped handlebars and tyres with a knobbled-tread for grip, powerful and usually disc brakes, low gears and better frame clearances to prevent clogging with mud, all of which adds up to make them easy to handle on the rough.
National and International:
Cyclocross has a healthy international race series, and national UK series, and Championship events. It is not an Olympic event.
Paul Oldham (Hope Technology Team) is one of the top cyclocross riders in the UK, has won the Trophy Series and been National Champion.
A number of CSP riders young and old take part in the National Trophy Series and Championships. Martin Woffindin has won the NWCCA U23 trophy for 4 years from 2010 to 2014.