Cyclo-cross racing is a unique sport that started in Europe as a fall/winter activity that starts once the road racing season is finished. A cyclo-cross race is traditionally done on a cyclo-cross bike but a mountain bike will work well for beginners.
Cyclo-cross is a great competitive activity for all levels of riders. The format is such that races are either 50 or 35 minutes in length for all participants. The races are held in city parks with a 2.5-3.5 km course length. The course is a mixture of hills, grass, paths and obstacles. The unique feature of cyclo-cross are the obstacles that are placed around the lap. These obstacles can be natural course features such as stairs to run up, a steep hill to run up or an artificial barrier. Artificial barriers are very short hurdles (40 cm tall) that require the rider to dismount, lift their bike and hop over the barrier before remounting their bicycle. Rules state that there will be no more than four artificial or natural obstacles per lap.
For more information on sport of cyclo-cross visit the links page and click on a few of the cyclo-cross links.
The following is a collected body of information and links to assist and answer any questions that athletes, parents, clubs or organizers might have about cyclo-cross racing in Saskatchewan.
Preparing for a Race – great tips for your first or fortieth race (road racing tips).
Provincial Races – check out the provincial race calendar.
Saskatchewan Cup Points Series – information on the points series.
Interclub points series – information on the points series.
Race Organizer’s Guide – how to put on a race. A great guide for athletes as well to educate them on what goes into planning a race for them to enjoy.
Athlete Development – information on coaching, training, and competitive opportunities for developing and high-performance athletes.
Cyclo-cross racing categories are designed to place riders in groupings of similar fitness and racing ability regardless of age. The categories are similar to those in Road Racing.
Category 1/2/3: The highest level of racing in Saskatchewan and you should be in excellent shape and have suitable riding skills to race in this category. Typical race are 50 minutes.
Category 4: The largest category that covers a wide range of ages and ability levels. Typical race distances are 50 minutes for men and 35 minutes for women.
Category 5: An excellent category for most riders to start in if they are just learning or if you aren’t training too much and are out to enjoy light competition. Typical race are 35 minutes.
This is my first race, which category should I choose?
The best place to start cyclo-cross racing, especially if you have little experience with the sport is category 5. You will quickly find out whether you are in the right category or not and can move to the next A category if appropriate. Often times speaking with a racer you know will give you a better idea of what category you should enter as they would be able to evaluate your fitness are skills.
Typical Race Groups:
Group 1: optimal first place finisher: 50 minutes
Men Category 1/2
Men Category 3
Men Category 4
Women Category 3
Group 2: optimal first place finisher: 35 minutes
Men Category 5
Women Category 4/5
Upgrading and downgrading your racing license or Temporary upgrades
If you believe that you should be upgraded or downgraded in your racing category, you must provide a letter to the High Performance Committee outlining your request.
For an upgrade, your request should include race results from your previous season, race results from the current season, recommendation letter from your coach, previous experience in a related sport, and or results from a high level of ability in another cycling discipline.
For a downgrade, your request should include race results from the current or past season or a description of the circumstances which would place you at a lower ability category.
Generally a Road Level 1 or 2, a Cyclo-cross Level 1 or 2 and a Mountain Bike Elite license are not issued without substantial evidence that a rider can race at that ability level. If you don’t have substantial evidence that you are racing at a higher ability and you are attending an out of province race and competing in any of the high ability categories mentioned previously, you can request an upgrade letter to attach to your current license. This letter will be specific to a race and will have an expire date. Your request should list the event name and location, date of the event and current results that would support the temporary upgrade.
All requests must be received at least one month prior to the event for which you would like to compete in your new upgraded/downgraded category.
Send your request to the SCA office at: 2205 Victoria Ave, Regina, Sask S4P 0S4 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Typical Schedule of Events at a Cyclo-cross Event
The schedule for all cyclo-cross races is not the same. Carefully read the information on the website or in the Prairie Pedaler to make sure that you arrive on time. Cyclo-cross races do not require pre-registration (usually the smaller ones) and you can simply show up at the sign-in time and pay for your race. A waiver of liability form and registration form must be completed and handed in at sign-on.