Over the past winter I followed the London and South East Cyclocross League. For those not in the know, cyclocross is off road bicycle racing often through wet and muddy short tracks. Originally the sport was for road cyclists who had nothing to do outside of the grand tours and monuments but has since become a category in it’s own right.
The races starts with a mad dash off the line. The starting position is determined by points in the league.
The races often take in a variety of challenges from tight winding sections to short steep climbs and even hurdles to be jumped or traversed.
There is an intensity that comes from its hour +1 lap format as there is no time for mistakes or to slow down.
Organisers seem to get delight from finding the most difficult ways to have racers traverse the most difficult terrain.
Riders are not only out of the saddle but also off the pedals. It is common to included sections that are impossible for racers to stay on the bike. Being able to mount and dismount quickly is key.
Riders will be tight together throughout the race. I’m looking forward to the next season to follow the league again, but I’m not looking forward to the weather that comes with it.