Cyclocross is one of the best ways to start your cycling career. The evidence is strong. Some of today’s top professional cyclists first made an impact in this off-road cycling discipline. And it’s not hard to see why. At elite level, cyclocross requires supreme bike handling skills and fitness.
Although races last for only an hour or so, that time is spent at the racer’s limit. The effort required to be competitive is more like a criterium or track race – a repeated set of accelerations – except with the added challenge of staying upright on tricky off-road surfaces. Cross-country (XC) mountain bike racing is probably the closest in terms of effort and bike handling. But cyclocross races are much shorter and require lots of very short but intense efforts.
It’s no wonder top cyclocross riders quickly become competitive in other racing disciplines. But at the other end of the spectrum, cyclocross is very accessible for the beginner. It’s easy to get started with very few rules and prerequisites. Most races can be entered on the day without a racing license and on a wide range of bikes. You can have a good race – and great fun - even if you are toward the back of the field.
Solihull CC provides the opportunity for its members to train for and race cyclocross. We run coached sessions at Tudor Grange Park from September through until Christmas, which are led by coaches who specialise in cyclocross.
Throughout the Autumn and Winter, we have riders competing across all age groups in the West Midlands Cyclo-Cross League (WMCCL) and the National Trophy series. In the 2019-20 season, Solihull CC won the overall Team Award in the WMCCL.
Every September or October, the club hosts a round of the WMCCL at the Heart of England Conference and Events Centre near Fillongley (CV7 8DX). We have a reputation for putting on one of the best cyclocross events of the season. The event typically hosts around 400 participants competing in 15 separate categories – more than half of those were under 18 years of age.