The cyclocross season ramps up in October as the road season winds down, bringing out the off-road specialists before they’re joined later in the season by multi-discipline stars like Wout van Aert, Mathieu van der Poel or World Champion Tom Pidcock.
Racing has already started in the United States and the first World Cup round arrives in Waterloo, Wisconsin on October 15.
UCI Cyclocross World Cup rounds run on 11 Sundays of the season between Waterloo and the World Championships plus three days during Christmas week, or ‘Kerstperiode’. There are one-week breaks after the opening round, on November 4-5 during the Continental Championships and then in January for the majority of the national championships.
Other major race series include the Superprestige and X2O Trofee and other national race series such as the US Cyclocross Series, the British National Trophy Series, Coupe de France and the Toi Toi Cup in the Czech Republic.
Cyclocross Riders to Watch
Last year’s women’s races were the most hotly-contested, exciting contests of the season with Fem Van Empel winning seven of the World Cups, Puck Pieterse four and Shirin Van Anrooij the other three. They combined to take the top three spots, respectively, in the World Cup overall standings.
In the points-based Superprestige, it was former World Champion Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado who came out on top over Inge van der Heijden and Denise Betsema. Van Empel won the time-based X2O Trofee over Lucinda Brand, who spent much of the year recovering from a broken hand, with Alvarado third.
Across the pond, Caroline Mani topped Raylyn Nuss in the women’s USCX series in the absence of US National Champion Clara Honsinger.
All of these riders will be ones to watch again this season, although Van Anrooij has said she will limit her off-road pursuits to focus on the Spring Classics, and Betsema suffered a training crash and delayed her season in early October.
However, Van Anrooij will be racing the opening World Cup in Waterloo, Wisconsin thanks to her bike sponsor Trek. She’ll be joined there by her rivals Van Empel and Pieterse.
The Dutch contingent will be without former World Champion Lucinda Brand, out with a collarbone injury, and