With the leaves falling and the season’s chill upon us, some of us turn to the sport of cyclocross as a means of staying fit through the off season. The exact origins of the sport are somewhat contested, but cyclocross races are known to have started in France in the early1900’s. 


Cyclocross back then, shared a lot of similarities with the sport today.  Riders would often race each other from town to town Through farmers fields , forests, over fences, hills and muddy creaks. These competitions were often referred to as steeplechases, as the only landmark  visible of the next town was it’s church steeple.

Although cyclocross may have started in france it is really the Belgians and Dutch who popularized the sport. Veldride, or field racing was a mix of cycling, portaging and climbing. the off bike segments were a means of getting the blood flowing back to the feet .In 1950 the first UCI (cycling’s governing body) championship was held, and since then, has been won 25 times by Belgians. 

In  the 1970’s, as cyclocross races began to appear in North America, the courses became much shorter with more laps as to make it a spectator friendly event. Each course must have paved roads , forests and field sections, as well  as obstacles to break up the rhythm of the rider.


In 2013  the first cyclocross championships were held in North America in Louisville Kentucky. The sport continues to grow and even “bandit cross” (unsanctioned cyclocross races) have started to pop up in local parks and ravins. 

The Ontario cyclocross championships will be held Nov 2 At albion hills in Palgrave.

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