Cyclocross is a sport as ugly as it is beautiful. Held in extreme weather, on dusty fields and in frozen forests filled with fans, the UCI World Cup season ended last weekend at Hoogerheide. The men’s calendar was dominated by Dutch phenom Mathieu van der Poel, who won seven out of nine races, while the women’s field delivered far more exciting competition, with any of the top 15 crossers capable of winning on their day.
Ahead of the world championships this weekend, we asked photographer Russ Ellis to present a selection of his best images from the 2017/18 season. He’s managed to make the ugly look more beautiful than ever.