What is Cyclo-cross and why you should get involved
Cyclo-cross is one of the most popular cycling disciplines - and if you chat to any of our coaches, it’s easy to find out why.
Ali explains more: “When you get involved with cyclo-cross racing in the younger category, you can use a mountain bike, you don’t need a specialist cyclo-cross bike, you can literally just turn up and go from there. It’s that easy”
If you’re curious to find out more, read on and learn all about this discipline.
What is cyclo-cross or CX?
It’s an off-road cycling sport that usually takes place in the autumn and winter months. The races include many laps of a short course which could feature pavement, wooded trails, grass, hills and obstacles. All of this terrain may require the rider to quickly dismount, carry their bike, navigate any obstructions and remount their bike.
Whereas road cycling focuses on tactics and fitness, cyclo-cross is fitness based but with important bike handling skills that can be taught, such as the techniques for starting and clipping your feet in quickly and being able to dismount and remount the bike smoothly and efficiently.
Our Co-Founder Graham Briggs remembers how he first got into cyclo-cross: “I started on my mountain bike doing the under 16s category and loved the buzz of racing with others”
Ali Slater agrees: I also started off on a mountain bike racing in my local woods and that’s how I got my first taste of racing a bike. Cyclo-cross courses can be anywhere such as a local field.”
And cyclo-cross racing has some very famous alumni. Ed Clancy OBE explains more:
“I missed out on the wonderful years of CX as I went straight to the British Cycling track but I would totally agree with Graham and Ali - CX is done in a safe, controlled environment, your risk of injury is low, cost of entry is low and you build great skills and tactics that are great for bike handling.
It builds confidence too. There are so many great road riders who all started in CX - Wout van Aert, Mathieu van der Poel, Tom Pidcock. Any skills you learn in CX will be transferable to different aspects of the sport.”
Get Involved in cyclo-cross with Clancy Briggs
We regularly run cyclo-cross masterclasses as part of our programme of activity.