The Magic of CX – A Great Winter Sport

Cyclocross (cx) is off road racing, on cross specific bikes similar to road bikes with drop handle bars, but unlike road bikes cx bikes have wider knobbly tyres..

Great Britain has had a lot of success in cross over the years and along with Belgium and Holland, at Junior and Under 23 level we are often world beaters. At entry level it is perfectly acceptable to race on a mountain bike or hybrid bike. At a typical cx race you can expect to encounter grass, dirt, mud, gravel, sand, tarmac, inclines and descents and you might even have to get off your bike to run sections or jump barriers! The aim of a cyclo-cross race is to test the rider’s physical fitness and bike handling skills. Weather plays a massive part – early season races could be dry and fast, conditions becoming muddier and technically more challenging as the season progresses, racing continues in most weather in fact – even snow, ice or fog.

The beauty of CX – particularly for children – no-one is left behind, the last placed rider might cross the finish line just behind the leader, but won’t feel like they’re last because other riders finish after them (in most races now timing chips ensure that everyone is given their correct finishing position, based on time and number of laps raced)

CX Uphill Scramble

Cyclocross is a fun sport for all ages with categories from under 8 to Vet 60+, 6 year olds right up to their grandparents can join in – at most CX races the whole family can race on the same day. If you can ride a bike without stabilisers, you can race CX – simple. Children in categories up to and including under 12, race for about 15 minutes, under 14 and under 16 categories, race for about 30 minutes. Senior men race for 1hr. All other categories (Junior M&F, Women, Vet men 40-50, Vet men 50-60, Vet men 60+) race for 40 minutes,. Most races have a novice category for first timers with a race time of 30 minutes.

CX Youths

The main Cyclo Cross season starts in early September and runs to mid Feb after the world Championships. The National Trophy is the season long competition for national level riders. Summer Cyclo Cross is also on offer, along with many CX/gravel sportives and some CX endurance races for those with stamina.

In the South Region there are two main cyclocross leagues in the winter, the Western CX League and the Wessex CX League – they have specific websites here:  Wessex Cyclocross and Western Cyclocross  A good place to look for further information is here on the main BC site: Get into cyclo-cross

Children do not need a British Cycling Race licence to take part. Adults, however, will be required to hold a licence or purchase a Day licence prior to racing – for more information look at the BC website britishcycling. membership  A basic licence starts at £25/year


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