Cyclo-cross is an increasingly popular winter past time for cyclists from all backgrounds, and is especially appealing to mountain bikers looking for a new challenge that harnesses their great handling skills.
This winter cyclo-cross is going to get even more exciting, with the newly unveiled Rapha Super Cross Series set to take the sport to the next level. Promoting the UK’s top racers in a three date series with a £6000 prize pot, using a team format, ten invited teams will do battle at Lake Windermere on 15 October, to Huddersfield the following day and the finale on 23 October at Alexandra Palace in London.
Series organiser Ian Cleverly asked the country’s top riders what they wanted from a ‘cross race and the overwhelming response was more challenging courses and added ‘razzmatazz’. And with planks, steps, singletrack and nasty climbs featuring in abundance a challenging course is precisely what they’ll get. Mountain bike legend Nick Craig has been involved with the course design ensuring the riders are kept on their toes.
As for razzmatazz, Belgian beer, top quality catering, cowbells, proper crowds, DJ, commentator Anthony McCrossan and trade stands featuring some of the best ‘cross bikes available, will make for three fantastic days of mud-spattered action, culminating at the iconic venue of Alexandra Palace.
Ian Cleverly said: “I got the idea after racing at the excellent Muddy Hell night race last year at Herne Hill. The event had an electric atmosphere that was more like a Belgian ‘cross and I decided this was what we needed more of in this country.
“The Tour Series also gave me inspiration, which is why there is a team format to the series. I want to see the likes of Ian Bibby, Ian Wilkinson, Scott Thwaites and Simon Richardson take on the ‘cross regulars, like Jody Crawforth, Paul Oldham and Nick Craig; Motorpoint and Endura pit themselves against Hargroves Cycles and Wheelbase. The potential is fantastic.”
With Rollapaluza’s Muddy Hell event taking place on the evening of Saturday, October 22, it promises to be a special weekend of cyclo-cross in the Capital.
As self-confessed closet cyclo-cross fans here at Bikemagic, we can’t wait to see how this exciting format will work, and the potential for it to increase the popularity of cyclo-cross racing with the backing of clothing brand Rapha.
Fortunately, the series won’t just be for the elite racers. The event will be supported with preceeding youth, junior, senior, veteran and women races. A Novice Go-Cross class is also on the cards and offers the ideal introduction to cyclo-cross virgins. Which means we can all take part. Perfect.
Not sure what cyclo-cross is all about? Read our guide to cyclo-cross here.