what is cyclocross?
Cyclocross is a specific type of bike racing. Most if not all the races are conducted off-road but sometimes pavement is thrown in for good measure. During most competitions, you encounter mud, sand, dirt, grass, and a combination of objects such as stairs or jumps.
Cyclocross races are based on time similar to that of a criterium race. Depending on your category or the competition, you can expect to race anywhere between 30 minutes up to 60 minutes. For the professional riders, most races are fixed at 60 minutes and are raced around a circuit of 2.5km-3.5km. Which also often combines a twisty circuit to allow a more spectator-friendly course.
What does cyclocross entail?
Often many people refer to cyclocross as a mixture of road and mountain bike racing. During a cross competition, you often see riders running with their bikes. Which usually means that the muddy sections, hills, and sand pits are too hard to ride. Although running has become a smaller part of cross racing, there are often segments of a race that is faster to run than ride.
Can cyclocross benefit your road riding?
Cyclocross often provides variety to the road cyclists training. It allows a change of pace and increases your bike handling skills. It also offers variation to your typical Sunday loops while helping to boost your explosive power and acceleration out of corners.
For road riders that have harsh winters, riding a cyclocross bike allows you to head out during the snowy months. During the months where your mileage is slower, riding a cross bike will allow you to explore new terrain and roads without the stress of looking at your power meter.
If you have worked hard during the season, adding some cyclocross riding in the later stages of your training plan can help maintain your fitness. When you feel your motivation is at the lowest, this can help bring up your motivation and even help you start the next season fresh and full of motivation.
Since most types of cross riding involve running and jumping. The combination offers increased bone density and helps to strengthen muscles and tendons not often used in road riding.
Its fun give it a go!
There are many reasons to get into cyclocross, not just for the racing aspect but for the fun of it. Nothing beats slogging through the mud and the adrenaline rush of tacking slippery corners all while getting ready to dismount and run up some stairs.
If you are looking for some basic cyclocross training tips, you can see our post cyclocross training requires special skills or if you are an already experienced cross rider you may be looking for a cyclocross coach to help plan your season around and improve your results. You can contact us via the button below.
Monthly Coaching Service
Whether your an elite cyclocross rider or a road rider looking for variation in your training, SportCoaching can help you improve your race results, structure your training and increase your overall fitness.
With daily support, unlimited feedback and daily analysis, you will see you performance increase in as little as 30 days. SportCoaching also provides a 90-day money-back guarantee if you don’t see any improvement during that period. Making it a safe and guaranteed way to improve your cycling!.