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What is cyclo-cross?
Simply put, ‘cross is the most fun you can have on a bike short of riding a tandem with Mark Cavendish… or his girlfriend, for that matter. It’s a fast and furious off-road blast with obstacles, twists and turns and, more often than not, a healthy dose of mud.
Do I need a special bike, then?
Not particularly. Most ride a ‘cross specific machine, with special brakes and knobbly tyres, but turn up with a helmet and a mountain bike and you are ready to race.
But I don’t know which race is for me.
- Under 10/12 – self-explanatory
- Youth – under-16
- Junior – Between 16 and 18
- Senior – Between 18 and 39
- Veteran – Between 40 and the grave…
- Woman – Not a bloke
- Novice – New to ‘cross? This is you!
Excellent. How seriously will we be taking it?
Up to you. Want to be on the podium and win a prize? You’d better be good. Rather dress up as Elvis and decorate your bike with garlands of flowers? Go ahead: you may win a prize that way. Want to ride through the ‘fountain of foam’ while being pelted with giant marshmallows by King Kong? Each to their own…
Splendid. My friends will want to come along as well and laugh… I mean, support me.
Glad to hear it. Entry for spectators is absolutely FREE. We’ll have beer tents serving Belgium’s finest brew, quality catering featuring pies, frites and other suitably heartwarming fare, the best DJ in all of London Town, the best race commentator to hail from Hampshire, and a whole load of noisy, rattley things for you to shake, rattle and roll.
Why is the series only two weekends?
These two weekends do not clash with the National Trophy series. The early-season dates give road-based riders, still fit at the end of the season, the chance to compete without committing to a whole winter. Courses will be fast and reasonably dry (weather permitting…), leading to competitive racing.
Which elites are racing?
The best in the country and more will compete for a share of £6,000 prize money in four-man teams. Invitations will go out to the top cyclo-cross outfits (Hargroves, Wheelbase, Hope) and the best road teams (Motorpoint, Endura, Sigma Sport, Rapha- Condor-Sharp) in Britain, to make the highest-quality field seen in UK cyclo-cross for years.
What is the format for the Elite Race?
40 minutes plus one lap, with team result given bigger billing than overall win. ’Cross riders have asked for more challenging courses: we have listened – steps, sandpits and planks will keep them busy, while the road riders will appreciate the super-fast course at Huddersfield.
What is the inspiration?
By and large the cross scene in the UK doesn’t contain any of the party atmosphere of its US counterpart. It’s time to bring the US way of doing it to the UK as an end of road racing season treat.
Who is on board?
Rapha is sponsoring the series. Veteran national cyclo- cross champion, off-road legend and all-round good chap Nick Craig has assisted with course design to give his fellow competitors some tasty challenges. Cyclevox will add their expertise in commentary and publicity.
Event village, beer tent, DJ’s, commentators, cowbells, frites and mayo, pies, roller racing, support races for everyone – from kids to veterans – and NOISE!