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.
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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.
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.
Watch: Cyclo-cross bikes buyer’s guide