Get Into Cyclo-Cross

Winter Fun:

Cyclo-Cross (often abbreviated to ‘Cross) is generally an autumn and winter sport. Mass starts make for exciting races, usually no more than an hour in length – and shorter for juniors, youths, women and veterans. There are usually cheap-to-enter races for younger riders. Race length is dictated by times, not distance or number of laps.

Yorkshire Cyclo-Cross

Yorkshire Cyclo-Cross runs both summer and winter series, with other stand-alone events in-between. Winter events are usually at the weekends, whilst the summer ones take advantage of the long evenings and take place mid-week.

What is a Cyclo-Cross event like?

Lapping it Up! Cyclo-Cross races are usually multi lap events, held on short (typically less than a mile and often less than half a mile), grassy courses, generally in public parks or on school playing fields. Less technically demanding than mountain biking, cyclo-cross often requires riders to dismount to clear artificial obstacles – often wooden boards – or run up steep, slippery bankings. The ability to swap smoothly and quickly from riding, to running, and back to riding again in one fluid motion is a key skill for advanced riders.

Private Battles: The short lap lengths mean that better riders often lap some of the slower competitors, but that’s not the end of the race – you can still submerge yourself in the action, enjoy your own private battles and forget whether you are first or a hundred and first – that’s the beauty of the sport: it’s what you make of it that counts.

Bike Facts:

Cyclo-Cross machines look very similar to road bikes, with dropped handlebars and thin tyres.  However, ‘cross bikes have a knobbled-tread for grip, powerful brakes, low gears and better frame clearances to prevent clogging with mud, all of which adds up to make them easy to handle on the rough. Mountain bikes are welcome at all our summer and winter series events.

Age Categories

Our races are organised into age categories. Ask for advice at signing on if you are in any doubt as to your age category.

Age Categories are on our winter/summer series and event pages.

We currently run two systems:


Under 8/10/12: Run separately with short races of less than 15 minutes. Girls and boys race together, but for separate prizes.
Youth Under 14/16: Races last less than 30 mins. Girls and boys race together, but for separate prizes.
Junior men:  Race up to an hour, usually with seniors and Vet 40-49.
Senior Men: Race for up to an hour.
Veteran Men 40-49:  Race with the seniors and juniors.
Veteran Men 50+: Race with the women. The race should  usually last for 50 minutes, give or take.
Women: All ages 16 and above.
Novices : Age 16+ – Please note this is a novice race and you are expected to move into the main races once you have built some experience. There are no prizes or podium for this category.

Non Yorkshire Points series winter events combine junior and adult categories – check website for information. Youths and Under-12s always race separately.


Under-14: all riders in the Under 14 and younger category  race together, usually with end of season/series prizes for male and female riders in age categories: Under-14, Under-12, Under-10, Under-8. Race duration approx 15 mins
Over-14: all riders in the U16 Category  and above race together, usually with end of season/series prizes for male and female riders in age categories: Under-16, Junior, Senior, Veteran. Race duration approx 45 mins.

For a taste of what a Summer Cyclo-Cross event is like, check out the video below:


For Winter Series 2019/20 Yorkshire Points Races:

Counting Races will be 7 rounds.

For the 12.45 and 2pm race, the categories at sign on for each race will just be in one alphabetical list. There will be a separate signing on sheet for new people in the 12.45 race and again for the 2pm race. For these races you will need BC membership with a provisional licence, or pay a £3 day licence.

Non Yorkshire points may have slightly different times and adult races may be combined.

For the Yorkshire Points 12.45 and 2pm races, Sign on will open an hour and fifteen mins before each of these two races and close 15 minutes before.

You will receive a set of three identical ‘Tyvek’ numbers for the 2019/20 series.

While Chip Timing are professionals providing the results service, the signing on sheets, gridding, posting of results and website/Facebook are managed by volunteers, who spend a lot of time each week getting everything ready. By making sure you sign on the correct sheet and put the correct number in the chip column, you will make it a lot easier for us and you will get a result.

For results queries, please email within 48 hours of publishing. For series queries, email within 48 hours of publishing. We DO NOT accept queries sent by Facebook or Facebook Messenger.

21 comments on “Get Into Cyclo-Cross
  1. John gray says:

    How do I join cud you give me information please just starting to ride got new clycle I am a runner at meltham ac my email is gilliangray67@ cheers john gray

    • Hi John,
      You just turn up for the first round of summer or winter cross, pay your entry fee and number fee and ride your bike. There are novice races in the winter cross to try first. All further details of events etc are all on the website or facebook site.

      • Joe Allen says:


        Please can you highlight which are the novice races, it’s not that clear from looking at the calendar. Also, can you get involved mid season or can you only register at the first race?


      • You can join in at anytime by signing on the day. The novice races are with the youth races on the Yorkshire points events. There are no separate novice races at non Yorkshire points races as everyone is in together.

  2. Does my 9 year old son need a racing licence to ride summer cross events?

  3. Kat says:


    I’m taking part in the novice Rapha race in Halifax on Sunday and if I enjoy it I’m looking at signing up for the Ilkley race on 8th November, do I need to have a race licence and become a member of British Cycling before signing up to the race?

    Thanks in advance.


    • Hi Kat,
      You don’t need a race licence or British Cycling membership for the novice races. Just make sure when you are riding that you allow the youths to overtake you. They will shout ‘On your right@ or left as the overtake. Just let them past as it is their race and the novices are guests in their race and not to contest the Youth finish,

  4. Jim says:

    Is it possible to turn up and ride in the Vet races? I’m not a member of a club or British cycling and don’t have a licence. I’m going to try the novice races first but just wondered how to progress from there.

  5. Sam says:

    I am a senior rider (28) I have never raced cross before and don’t have a racing licence. What events can you recommend? Can I just enter on the day. Thank you

    • I would suggest you try the novice race first. No licence required and cheaper. You will be racing with the youth category and they get points for their race so you need to ensure you don’t interfere with them. If anyone is coming to lap you, they will shout on your right if passing on the right etc. Just allow them to do so and have fun.

  6. Daan says:

    In the fall of 2016 I might be studying in Sheffield and I would like to ride some crosses, but I am Dutch, would it be required to get a British license or can I ride on a dutch license? And if yes, which?

  7. Domingo says:

    Hello, for the summer series what Racing license do i need? Could i go to the races with the provisional race license?

  8. James K says:

    Hi Are novices welcome to ride in the North of England Championship event in York on 4th December? Is there a separate novice event, novices in with the Youth’s or no Novice race at this event? I’m 32 and haven’t ridden Cross before.

    Also can my 7 year old daughter ride in the U8 category if she hasn’t ridden Cross before too?


    • Really sorry we didn’t reply James but only just shown on WordPress comments. Best way to contact us is via Yorkshire Cyclo Cross email or Facebook. There is nothing to stop novices riding in this event but not wise due to inexperience as it is a championship. Novices are in with the vet 45+ for our YCCA series events. Under 12s can always just ride irrespective of experience.

  9. sheffem says:

    Hi – I’m keen to come along for the Stocksbridge race as a novice – do I need a race licence from British cycling?



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