When the seasons turn to autumn and winter not everyone hangs up their race bike, it’s time for Cyclocross, often abbreviated as CX, is a unique form of bicycle racing that combines elements of road cycling, mountain biking, and obstacle course racing. It is typically held in the fall and winter months, making it a popular off-season discipline for road and mountain bike racers. Here are some key characteristics of cyclocross:
- Course: Cyclocross races take place on a closed circuit course that is typically 1.5 to 2 miles (2.5 to 3.5 kilometers) in length. The courses are designed to be challenging and varied, including a mix of surfaces such as grass, dirt, mud, sand, pavement, and often steep, short hills. They can also feature obstacles like barriers, stairs, and other challenges that require dismounting and remounting the bike.
- Bicycles: Cyclocross bikes are similar in appearance to road bikes but are designed to handle the rigors of off-road racing. They have wider, knobby tires for better traction on varied terrain, cantilever or disc brakes for improved stopping power in muddy conditions, and a more relaxed frame geometry for stability.
- Racing Format: Cyclocross races are typically short, intense efforts that last 15 minutes to an hour, depending on the category. There are various categories, including elite, masters, juniors, and beginners, to accommodate a wide range of skill levels and ages.
- Dismounting and Remounting: One of the distinctive features of cyclocross is the need to dismount and remount the bike during a race. Riders often encounter barriers or steep sections where it’s faster to run with the bike on their shoulder and then remount when the terrain allows.
- Variable Weather: Cyclocross races are known for taking place in a variety of weather conditions, including rain, mud, snow, and cold temperatures. This adds an element of unpredictability and challenge to the sport.
- Strategy: Tactics and strategy play a significant role in cyclocross racing. Riders must decide when to push the pace, when to conserve energy, and how to navigate technical sections and obstacles efficiently.
- Pit Stops: Many cyclocross races include a designated pit area where riders can swap bikes or receive mechanical assistance if needed due to mud or equipment issues.
- Lap-Based Racing: Cyclocross races are typically conducted as lap-based events, with riders completing multiple laps of the course. This allows spectators to see the action up close and cheer for their favourite racers.
- Event information for South West races: Races – SWCX League
- Club training this information is found on our website or Facebook pages1
For really keen riders, there is the National Trophy series and the National Championship. The Mid Devon supports riders to compete at this level and recently we were proud to see club riders Matt Holmes, Bayley Woodger, Eva fox, Lauren Fox, Martin Smith, and Robin Delve race the series across the uk. We do host an NT events down at the Torbay velopark where we have 2000 people over the weekend at the venue.