Cyclo Cross Winter 2015/16 Here

Chris James in action at Newsome

Mud, sweat and gears

Dust off your cowbells, the cyclo cross season starts this weekend. Don’t know what cyclo cross is? Or fancy giving it a go, but don’t know what to do? Read on.

Cyclo cross started as winter training for road racers, but has long since turned into a separate discipline of its own. Cyclo cross races are short, fast, often muddy but always fun. The riders do multiple laps of a short circuit within a given time, the person who has done the most laps being the winner. Men usually race for about one hour, women for 40 minutes and kids between 10 and 30 minutes depending on age. Unlike road racing, it doesn’t matter if you get dropped, or lapped, because there is always someone who is about the same speed as you and you can have your own private race for 10th – or 100th place.

Cyclo cross in Yorkshire is run by Yorkshire Cyclo Cross Association  and the main winter series is called the Yorkshire Points series. All the courses are different and are typically through local parks or school fields, with tree roots and slippy banks making popular obstacles. If you don’t fall off you aren’t trying hard enough! At least falling on mud doesn’t hurt.

Forget the pictures of riders running miles carrying bikes. Most races involve little or no carrying. You don’t need any special equipment – a mountain bike or even a hybrid would be fine. You don’t need a full race licence – you can race on a provisional licence or just pay £3 for a day licence. There’s even a cut price novice race in most rounds to encourage new participants to give it a go.

There are local races at Temple Newsam and Thornes Park that we will be encouraging the Go Riders to enter. If you enjoy them then there are also races in Huddersfield, Barnsley and the National Clarion Championships at Holme Pierrepont, Nottingham.

If you would like any other information then drop me an email at

Chris James
Cyclo Cross Secretary

Martin Price avoids a fallen rider, Ross Burton further ahead.

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