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. Cyclo-Cross is a great place to start if you want to try cycle racing.
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 2.5 to 3.5km long), grassy courses, generally in public parks, sports complex grounds or on school playing fields. Although less technically demanding than mountain biking, cyclo-cross nonetheless 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.
Cyclo-Cross machines look very similar to road bikes, with dropped handlebars and thin tyres. However, ‘cross bikes have a knobbly 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.
Our races are organised into age categories. Age categories for this year are here.
1 – WINTER SERIES EVENTS
Under 9/12: Age groups run separately with short races of less than 15 minutes. Girls and boys race together, but for separate prizes.
Youth Under 14/16: Races approx. 30 mins. Girls and boys race together.
Junior men: Race up to an hour, usually with the senior men and veteran 40-49 men
Senior Men: Race for up to an hour
Veteran Men 40-49: Race for up to an hour usually with the seniors
Veteran Men 50+: Race alone – this is often the biggest category.
Women: All ages 16 and above and from 2022-23 have their own race.
Yorkshire Championship events have separate prizes for each age category, men and women – prizes are awarded at the end of the season.
2 – SUMMER SERIES EVENTS
Under-12: all riders in the Under 12 and younger category race together. Race duration approx 12 mins. Small on the day prizes are given out.
Under-16: all riders in the Under 14 and Under-16 race together, usually with end of season/series prizes for male and female riders in both age categories: Race duration approx 25 mins.
Over-16: all riders in the Junior Category and above race together, usually with end of season/series prizes for male and female riders in the various age categories: Junior, Senior, Veteran, Veteran 50. Race duration approx 45 mins.
All entries are taken online – look for the links on our homepage to upcoming events. No entries are taken on the day.