Cyclocross is a discipline run on 2.5 to 3.5 km circuits, including clearings, roads, country lanes and paths through forests. The riders do several circuits for a period of less than an hour. Quite often riders carry their bikes to make their way along steep paths, muddy tracks and artificial obstacles.
A Cyclocross bike resembles a modified road bike and uses knobby tread tires for traction, cantilevered brakes for clearance in muddy conditions, and lightweight frames because competitors need to carry their bicycle to overcome barriers or slopes too steep to climb in the saddle.
Cyclocross has a long history as off-season training for road racers, and a recent appeal to off-road racers as well. Mountain bikes are welcomed at many events, although a well-constructed course will definitely favour the cyclocross bike. The popularity of the sport is growing in Canada and across North America.
Categories and Upgrades
In BC, there are 4 different ability category (cat) levels for male and female road riders. Most races offer all of these categories, though some may be combined together for the purposes of racing.
- Cat. 1: Professional riders, who are members of National, Continental, or Professional teams
- Cat. 2: Highly skilled amateur riders
- Cat. 3: Intermediate level amateur riders
- Cat. 4: Novice level amateur riders
Riders without a UCI license in the last 5 years must register for Cat 4.
Riders with a UCI license in the last 5 years must register with the category that they had on their last UCI license, unless they are applying for an upgrade.
Riders may apply to upgrade to the next highest ability level when they register for their license, or part way through the season. However, they cannot downgrade in the same season once you have upgraded. Riders must have held a UCI license in the last season to be eligible for an upgrade.