With humble beginnings, cyclo-cross began in the early 1900’s as a form of
winter training for road cyclists in Belgium. The first World Championships were
held in 1950 in France. The United States first medalled in 1999, when Tim
Johnson, a U23 from Middleton, MA, earned the bronze. The very next day, Matt
Kelly of Wisconsin won gold as a Junior.
is the “steeplechase” of bicycle racing. Courses include a variety of terrain
that forces riders to jump off their bikes and either clear the obstacle, as
many as a dozen and as high as 40 cm, or to sprint through deep muddy or sandy
sections. Sound like fun, yet? Instead of being measured in miles, the
races are timed lasting between 30 minutes to an hour in length. Cyclo-cross
stresses the technical aspect of cycling, making it a fantastic off-season sport
for roadies. Bike exchanges are allowed and critical, when you consider that a
mud covered bike might weigh as much as 10 kg or more when hefting it over a
shoulder to cross barriers.
Cyclocross is arguably one of the most exciting bike races to watch. The spectator-friendly courses are
typically 1.2 to 1.8 miles sometimes looping over itself so that fans can see
several parts of the course standing in just one place. For those who live for
summer time criteriums, check it out! There are a record number of 17 UCI races
right here in the United States this year. For a calendar of them, see below.
Cyclocross: A Brief History by Jim Sullivan
Cyclocross: by Craig Undem
2002 UCI Cyclocross US Calendar Events
Oct. 6: Downeast Cyclo-cross; Auburn, Maine
Oct. 12: PIP Shelter Cyclo-cross; Worcester, Mass.
Oct. 19: Portland Intl Cyclo-cross Classic; Portland, Ore.
Oct. 19: Wooden Wheels; Granogue Estate, Del.
Oct. 20: Redline Cup; Olympia, Wash.
Oct. 20: Monkey Hill Cyclo-cross Race; Wilmington, Del.
Oct. 27: Amherst International; Amherst, Mass.
Nov. 2: Saturn Cyclo-cross; Lancaster, Pa. Venue Change!
Nov. 9: Boulder UCI Cross; Boulder, Colo.
Nov. 17: Granville Grand Prix of Cyclo-cross; Granville, Ohio (Cancelled)
Nov. 23: Redline Cup; Salt Lake City
Nov. 24: Chain Biter 4.0; Farmington, Conn.
Nov. 30: Northwest Cyclo-cross Challenge; Seattle
Dec. 1: Stumptown Cyclo-cross Classic; Portland, Ore.
Dec. 1: Rhode Island Cyclo-cross; S. Kingstown, R.I.
Dec. 8: American Express Financial Advisors Cyclo-cross; Merrimack, N.H.
Dec. 8: Redline Cup; Napa, Calif.
Dec. 13-14: National Cyclo-cross Championships; Napa, Calif.