Sunday, January 15, 2012
Cyclo-cross or Cross Country or CX, was originally invented to help European road racers stay fit during the fall and winter. It includes off-road sections that forced racers to carry their bikes while running, and then remount swiftly for the next stretch of road.
It take place in the autumn and winter and consists of many laps of a short (2.5–3.5 km or 1.5–2 mile) course featuring pavement, wooded trails, grass, steep hills and obstacles requiring the rider to quickly dismount, carry the bike whilst navigating the obstruction and remount. Races for senior categories are generally between 30 minutes and an hour long, with the distance varying depending on the ground conditions. The sport is strongest in the traditional road cycling countries such as Belgium (and Flanders in particular), France and the Netherlands.
A cyclo-cross rider is allowed to change bicycles and receive mechanical assistance during a race. While the rider is on the course gumming up one bicycle with mud, his or her pit crew can work quickly to clean, repair and oil the spares. Having a mechanic in the "pits" is more common for professional cyclo-cross racers. The average cyclo-cross racer might have a family member or friend holding their spare bike.