How to save/improve CX

Apr 12, 2009
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Sanne Van Paassen, Dutch CX racer recently stated some 'passionate' ideas about how to keep CX interesting (in an age where yet an other young guy is completely dominating the others)
http://sannevanpaassen.nl/uitdaging-in-het-veldrijden/

Sporza.be picked it up, and since some of the ideas are interesting enough, and might start some debate, let me share them with you.

1) Time Trial: To define starting positions, everybody rides a 1 lap TT. No more unfit riders on the first line based on their form of 2 months ago. People (eg Van Der Poel) who just came back can start on the front immediately. See F1 or MX

2)Fourcross. Like in MTB;

3)CX Marathon: Like CX, but longer. Why does every race has to be the same lenght? In road racing there's 150k races up to 280k races.

4)CX-GT: multiple day races. They already race almost every day 26th of december till 2nd of january. Why not make it one big competition?


What do you guys think? Does CX need some updates?
 
If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

I rather think that cyclocross needs much more to be kept from possibly nefarious changes than it needs changes. It's the greatest sport there is.

For example, I think the current trends towards the globalization of the sport should be halted. We don't need a "World Cup" event in Vegas, in the midst of casinos and luxury hotels. That's pretty un-cyclocross. The people of Vegas don't really know what cyclocross is all about. That's just in to get money, period. Next step? A cyclocross in Abu Dhabi, in Qatar, in Rwanda?

Cyclocross is still mainly provincial and that's the great part of it. You have a Belgian/Dutch scene, a French scene, a Czech scene, an American scene. That's why it's so popular (at least here in Belgium). A small world in which the actors are very close to the spectators and very humble. We've seen what globalization turned road cycling into. A sport for a cosmopolitan elite!

If people don't like to see a youngster like Van Aert dominating, too bad for them. You should appreciate the performance. I find it nice when the strongest wins. Besides, Wout is a very nice guy. :)

However, the idea of extending the race duration is a good one, since it would be a back-to-the-roots reform. In my thread about Albert Zweifel I showed how up until at least 1986, cyclocross easily exceeded the hour of racing. The one-hour limit was just a shameful TV obligation. For the rest, I'm not convinced at all.
 
Buffalo Soldier said:
Sanne Van Paassen, Dutch CX racer recently stated some 'passionate' ideas about how to keep CX interesting (in an age where yet an other young guy is completely dominating the others)
http://sannevanpaassen.nl/uitdaging-in-het-veldrijden/

Sporza.be picked it up, and since some of the ideas are interesting enough, and might start some debate, let me share them with you.

1) Time Trial: To define starting positions, everybody rides a 1 lap TT. No more unfit riders on the first line based on their form of 2 months ago. People (eg Van Der Poel) who just came back can start on the front immediately. See F1 or MX

2)Fourcross. Like in MTB;

3)CX Marathon: Like CX, but longer. Why does every race has to be the same lenght? In road racing there's 150k races up to 280k races.

4)CX-GT: multiple day races. They already race almost every day 26th of december till 2nd of january. Why not make it one big competition?


What do you guys think? Does CX need some updates?
1) That is done in the Cx Masters Waregem.

I like all your ideas. Here are some of my own:

1)Put CX onto Sporza only, as not everyone can get Telenet Playsports (especially when you don't live in Belgium)

2)Cyclocross relays.

3)Cyclocross Handicap races.

4)A one lap sprint round the course when it isn't part of a series (Soudal Classics, Mol Zilvermeercross, Erpe Mere) or at the begining of the season.

Some ideas that are unrealistic:

1)Cyclocross Derny racing. Like on the track, but behind a Motocross bike

2)Cyclocross Keirin racing. Like on the track, but behind a Motocross bike.
 
Echoes said:
If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

I rather think that cyclocross needs much more to be kept from possibly nefarious changes than it needs changes. It's the greatest sport there is.

For example, I think the current trends towards the globalization of the sport should be halted. We don't need a "World Cup" event in Vegas, in the midst of casinos and luxury hotels. That's pretty un-cyclocross. The people of Vegas don't really know what cyclocross is all about. That's just in to get money, period. Next step? A cyclocross in Abu Dhabi, in Qatar, in Rwanda?

Cyclocross is still mainly provincial and that's the great part of it. You have a Belgian/Dutch scene, a French scene, a Czech scene, an American scene. That's why it's so popular (at least here in Belgium). A small world in which the actors are very close to the spectators and very humble. We've seen what globalization turned road cycling into. A sport for a cosmopolitan elite!

If people don't like to see a youngster like Van Aert dominating, too bad for them. You should appreciate the performance. I find it nice when the strongest wins. Besides, Wout is a very nice guy. :)

However, the idea of extending the race duration is a good one, since it would be a back-to-the-roots reform. In my thread about Albert Zweifel I showed how up until at least 1986, cyclocross easily exceeded the hour of racing. The one-hour limit was just a shameful TV obligation. For the rest, I'm not convinced at all.
To be fair, it's hooked and closely related to Interbike. Without Interbike at the same time, I doubt anybody would think a cross race in Vegas would 'work'.
 
CX seems to be undergoing a massive surge in the UK, at least from my experience in Scotland. It's been referred to as the new "fixed gear", everyone seems to have a CX bike these days, they also seem to be the most recommended bikes in shops and for good reasons in my opinion. I think part of it is that it's a lot more welcoming than road racing, it's not on the road and more events are popping up as people become more open to the idea. It doesn't require a team, there is more skill involved and it's easily accessible for MTBers wanting to dip their toe in curly bar racing.

Personally I think that's fantastic, it's great to see people out on bikes and I also think the vast majority of us would be better off on CX-style "adventure" bikes, I know realistically that's what I should be riding.

So I'm not sure it needs saving, at least here, but I do love some of these ideas.


Longer races and stage races would appeal to me greatly as it's more akin to the kind of riding I long to do, but they would be hard events to organise and need the space. I would say a multi-stage race where you have to camp overnight with set stages, similar to things like the transcontinental but with actual finish points would be very appealing to me. Longer races, 100km+ in the North of Scotland would be fantastic.

What about a road/cx multi-stage race where bike changes aren't allowed? You do a road race with loads of cobbles chucked in, next day off into the forests over trails covered in rocks and roots, then back onto the road for a standard blast to an outdoor velodrome with a several lap sprint finish? You could even take riders times at the entrance then gate them, wait until you have 15-20 riders and have a 5 lap race for a points prize. It gives you loads of different disciplines and would let new riders try loads of different styles of riding in a single event.
 
Apr 12, 2009
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The weird thing is, in Belgium, everybody seems to have their road bike, a lot of people own a mountain bike, but almost nobody has a CX bike.
(And luckily most people realize how ridiculous fixies are outside of the track)

This is drawn from my own experience. I think 90% of my male friends and family own a road bike, 20% a MTB and 0,0% a CX bike.

What I'm trying to say is: the number of people that own a CX bike has nothing to do with professional racing.

(edit: I was talking about male friends & family, since it really is a predominantly male hobby here)
 
Re:

Buffalo Soldier said:
The weird thing is, in Belgium, everybody seems to have their road bike, a lot of people own a mountain bike, but almost nobody has a CX bike.
(And luckily most people realize how ridiculous fixies are outside of the track)

This is drawn from my own experience. I think 90% of my friends and family own a road bike, 20% a MTB and 0,0% a CX bike.

What I'm trying to say is: the number of people that own a CX bike has nothing to do with professional racing.
Couldn't be more wrong...


It's mainly roadies I know who own CX bikes now. The kind of guys who used to ride XC in the winter are now moving to CX as it's closer to road riding. You do get some MTBers too, but again they tend to be the people who either rode road as well or were more XC focussed anyway. I would have thought loads of people in Belgium had CX bikes though, I'm surprised to hear they don't!
 
Re: Re:

King Boonen said:
Buffalo Soldier said:
The weird thing is, in Belgium, everybody seems to have their road bike, a lot of people own a mountain bike, but almost nobody has a CX bike.
(And luckily most people realize how ridiculous fixies are outside of the track)

This is drawn from my own experience. I think 90% of my friends and family own a road bike, 20% a MTB and 0,0% a CX bike.

What I'm trying to say is: the number of people that own a CX bike has nothing to do with professional racing.
Couldn't be more wrong...


It's mainly roadies I know who own CX bikes now. The kind of guys who used to ride XC in the winter are now moving to CX as it's closer to road riding. You do get some MTBers too, but again they tend to be the people who either rode road as well or were more XC focussed anyway. I would have thought loads of people in Belgium had CX bikes though, I'm surprised to hear they don't!
What's really a hoot is around here, even tho it's dry, you see guys roaring around on the road, with their cross bikes...'cuz it's the season'...I guess to make sure they work but road rides on the WE with a bunch of disc brake cross bikes..
 
Re: Re:

Bustedknuckle said:
King Boonen said:
Buffalo Soldier said:
The weird thing is, in Belgium, everybody seems to have their road bike, a lot of people own a mountain bike, but almost nobody has a CX bike.
(And luckily most people realize how ridiculous fixies are outside of the track)

This is drawn from my own experience. I think 90% of my friends and family own a road bike, 20% a MTB and 0,0% a CX bike.

What I'm trying to say is: the number of people that own a CX bike has nothing to do with professional racing.
Couldn't be more wrong...


It's mainly roadies I know who own CX bikes now. The kind of guys who used to ride XC in the winter are now moving to CX as it's closer to road riding. You do get some MTBers too, but again they tend to be the people who either rode road as well or were more XC focussed anyway. I would have thought loads of people in Belgium had CX bikes though, I'm surprised to hear they don't!
What's really a hoot is around here, even tho it's dry, you see guys roaring around on the road, with their cross bikes...'cuz it's the season'...I guess to make sure they work but road rides on the WE with a bunch of disc brake cross bikes..
What's the WE?
 
Jan 24, 2011
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It's growing more in Australia in the last couple of years. Still I wonder if our cycling body would take more notice if it was an Olympic sport. With all the insurance and safety requirements these days road races are harder to manage so maybe that's where cd has an advantage. I would like to see some Aussies getting closer to the pointy end one day, unlikely I know :).
 
Feb 23, 2014
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I would like to see some more English commentary. Maybe it's out there, but I can't find it for the majority of races. Sure they have it for the highlights, but who wants it for just that?
 
Apr 12, 2009
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Re:

austy37 said:
It's growing more in Australia in the last couple of years. Still I wonder if our cycling body would take more notice if it was an Olympic sport. With all the insurance and safety requirements these days road races are harder to manage so maybe that's where cd has an advantage. I would like to see some Aussies getting closer to the pointy end one day, unlikely I know :).
It's a winter sport which isn't raced on snow or ice. This disqualifies it for bot summer and winter olympics
 
Apr 23, 2015
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When i started cross in the UK many years ago the courses were a real challenge. What puts me off now is that the majority feel like muddy fields with nothing particularly adrenalin raising on there. UCI regs were cited but it just felt like sanitisation to me, might as well be riding a time trial by the time the pack has been spread out a bit.
 
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