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 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.
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 the home page. Ask for advice at signing on if you are in any doubt as to your age category.
1 – WINTER SERIES EVENTS
Under 8/10/12: Age groups run separately with short races of less than 15 minutes. Girls and boys race together, but for separate prizes.
(Races for Under 12s, no servicing or changing of equipment is allowed.)
Youth Under 14/16: Races approx. 30 mins. Girls and boys race together, but for separate prizes.
Junior men: Race up to an hour, usually with the seniors
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 with the women
Women: All ages 16 and above and usually race with the Vet 50+ men
Yorkshire Points events have separate prizes for each age category, men and women
Non Yorkshire Points series winter events combine junior and adult categories – check website for information. Youths and Under-12s always race separately.
2 – SUMMER SERIES EVENTS
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. Where time allows, there will be a separate Under 8 race.
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.