With the international cyclo-cross season now in full swing, and we take a look back at some of the picturesque moments so far. Photos from Graham Watson

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As we head deeper into winter, the cyclo-cross season really gets into full swing. While professional road riders come out of a month or two off and start thinking about the coming season, cyclo-cross riders are already in peak form and tackling a succession of muddy, sandy and often freezing courses.

Cyclo-cross races are short and sharp, and are run on lap-based courses. It makes them ideal as a spectator event, and thousands regularly turn out to watch World Cup and Superprestige races in the ‘cross heartland of Belgium, the Netherlands and France.

It’s not only Europe that has enjoyed top-level ‘cross competition – the 2015/16 UCI World Cup season kicked off in Las Vegas, America, in mid-September. The event was run under floodlights, providing quite a spectacle.

>>> World champion Pauline Ferrand-Prévot ruled out of cyclo-cross season with injury

The cyclo-cross season traditionally culminates in the World Championships, which this season takes place in Zolder, Belgium, over January 30-31.

We’ve put together a dozen great photos to give you a flavour of the ‘cross season so far.

Kevin Pauwels and Sven Nijs in the 2015 Zonhoven Superprestige Cyclo-Cross event

Riders’ tyre tracks in the sand make an amazing backdrop for Kevin Pauwels and Sven Nys in the Zonhoven Superprestige

Gioele Bertolini of Italy celebrates with a one-handed wheelie in the Valkenburg round of the World Cup

Gioele Bertolini of Italy celebrates with a one-handed wheelie in the Valkenburg round of the World Cup

Lars van der Haar in the 2015 Ruddervoorde Superprestige Cyclo-Cross event

Lars van der Haar shows his skill in staying upright in the sand at the Ruddervoorde Superprestige

Spectators at the 2015 Koppenberg Cyclo-Cross

Vast crowds of spectators at the 2015 Koppenberg Cyclo-Cross

Watch: Cyclo-cross bikes buyer’s guide

British national champion Helen Wyman shoulders her bike at the Valkenburg World Cup

British national champion Helen Wyman shoulders her bike at the Valkenburg World Cup

A man-made bridge serves as an obstacle in the Koksijde World Cup

A man-made bridge serves as an obstacle in the Koksijde World Cup

Sven Nys enters the pits in the Kokside World Cup

Sven Nys enters the pits in the Koksijde World Cup

World Cup Las Vegas (USA)

Riders tackling a dry, sandy section at the opening World Cup round in Las Vegas

Tom Meeusen in the G.P Hasselt cyclo-cross in 2015

Tom Meeusen splashes through the mud in the G.P Hasselt cyclo-cross

Eva Lechner gets a swift bike change in the Koksijde World Cup

Eva Lechner gets a swift bike change in the Koksijde World Cup

Sven Nys celebrates his remarkable 50th World Cup victory in Koksijde

Sven Nys celebrates his remarkable 50th World Cup victory in Koksijde

Katherine Compton at the Las Vegas opening round of the World Cup

Katherine Compton’s efforts in trying to chase down the leaders shows at the end of the Las Vegas World Cup

 

>> If you’re interested in Cyclocross take a look at our Adventure Cross series <<

  • John Senior

    Great to see cross getting more coverage and recognition – best bike race I saw last year was women’s world champs which just edged out ToS/ TdF in my book. Hard, close races every weekend – real pity that PFP is injured and won’t be defending her title Sven Nys finding some form at just the right time – can the veteran do it one more time?