National Cyclocross Champs Bradford this weekend – worth a visit?

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  • National Cyclocross Champs Bradford this weekend – worth a visit?
  • FunkyDunc

    It’s this weekend in Bradford.

    Is it worth heading in to Bradford to watch with my 3 yr old son or will it just be skinny people riding around a muddy field?

    ie will there be trade stands etc?



    Watching cross is more interesting than watching cross country MTB racing, fast and usually more falls for crowd pleasing. The weather forecast suggests it’s likely to be pretty frosty.

    No idea if there’ll be any trade stands as I’ve not been to the nationals in years.

    Worth a drive if you’re close-ish and if it’s on your doorstep, get down there, the boy will love watching people fall off so head for somewhere muddy/steep.


    There’ll be a couple of trade stands, nothing major though I should think. But it’s great fun. Bradford course is ace, lots of off camber/steep climbs and muddy descents, usually plenty of crashes and plenty of viewing points to see more than one corner.
    Pity I cant make it :0(

    Premier Icon ctznsmith

    Twitter seems to suggest there is going to be a Ridley bikes stand so I would assume there will be a few.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs

    Twitter seems to suggest there is going to be a Ridley bikes stand so I would assume there will be a few.

    Might be a couple of gazebos but that’ll be about it – it’s not exactly Mountain Mayhem! The chippy van wasn’t bad though last time I was there.

    It’s CX though – low key and cheap. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great event, very spectator friendly; I’ve been to the National Series events at Bradford and I think the last time it was used as a Nat Champs as well but don’t go expecting a whole host of shiny trade stands and entertainment for the family.

    Oh and dress warm, take wellies – it’ll be absolutley sodding baltic out there!


    yes it will be skinny people riding around a field,if you like bike racing of any kind it will be a really good day out


    Well I went to watch it, and thought it was good that you can see most of the course without having to really walk around much.

    I liked the fact that it was low key, well ok, people were not quite so far up their own arses (cocky/arrogant) as they are at mtb events.

    What surprised me was that the course was not at all technical, ie it was all grass or mud, no routes/rocks/steps etc. However fair play although it was just mud/grass, some of it was quite technical ie off camber, tricky bends.

    I couldnt quite understand why there were 2 vertical 1ft high boards placed randomly on a climb. At least put them on a downhill section so that people can try and bunny hop them ?!?

    It also suprised me how twisty the course was ie short straights in to bends, so lots of mini sprints rather than continued slog like road riding.

    The other bit I didnt understand was that people were being pulled out from the seniors race about 30 mins in, which was leaving very few people left in the field.

    To be fair overall it did interest me, and if I get round to getting a cross bike this year I think I would give it a go.


    Not technical? Good grief, it was a job and a half just staying upright during the last race. The boards thing is just a part of ‘cross as one of the skills to test is getting on and off the bike quickly. Sometimes the boards are on the flat so skilful riders can hop them. Glad you liked it though. It is entertaining to watch and good fun to do as well, even if it can hurt quite a bit.


    crispycross wrote:

    Sometimes the boards are on the flat so skilful riders can hop them.

    thanks for that, another opportunity for this video 😀



    What you witnessed was Cyclocross, the twisting nature of the course, the planks, the short climbs, the run ups etc.are all elements of Cyclocross racing. Believe me when you’re riding flat stick the course was technical enough thanks and rock hard, I’m spent today!

    The planks were 40cm high and close together which is a fair challenge on the hard packed ground and flat, there’s not that many that can hop those. The idea is to force a bit of running too.

    The riders were being (controversially) pulled out because it was a UCI National Championship race and they didn’t want lapped riders getting in the way or causing an incident to the leading racers. In normal cross races the riders get pulled out if they get lapped or in lower cat races not at all. Unfortunately the course was pretty hard and a lot of riders found themselves falling foul of the rule.

    Glad you enjoyed the day out, ‘cross is one of the most welcoming branches of cyclesport. In europe it’s not unheard of to have a 50,000 strong PAYING crowd.

    Premier Icon ctznsmith

    There is a (UCI) rule in the Senior nationals that if you get lapped you get pulled out (or something to that end).

    Not ‘technical’ in an mtb sense but riding down the bank in muddy conditions and going up again won’t have been easy.

    Board placement was really interesting, definitely intended to force riders to dismount.

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth

    I have a couple of friends who were racing (one in vets (came 13th in his category), another in the seniors (37th)).

    Would like to have gone – if nothing else to cheer on Nikki Harris to an amazing win in the women’s senior race, finally beating Helen Wyman. I think that puts Britain ranked no.2 in europe/the world (not sure which) for women’s cross.

    Premier Icon AlexSimon

    It was our first visit to a cyclocross race. We all loved it!
    We went just for the Sunday Afternoon.

    Could see a lot of the course (and just about follow it) from one place (top of that steep bit pictured above).

    It was greatly helped by
    a) The presence of Hugh Porter doing commentary.
    b) The battle to catch up with Ian Field coming from Ian Bibby and David Fletcher
    c) The battle between Oli Beckinsale and Nick Craig.

    Great afternoon out!
    I’ll post some pics later if I get chance.

    Premier Icon davetrave

    In ctznsmith’s first photo I’m the marshall in the orange hi-vis you can just make out in the top centre of the photo – that was one of the best place to spectate. You could see the entire lower half of the course, including the boards (which one or two really keen individuals did hop in the Vets 40-49, at least early on when they ahd the energy, just to show off a bit). There were a couple of crashes coming down that embankment and then the tight, sharp, off-camber left hander around the tree at the bottom (disappears out of shot top left of photo)caught a lot of people as they carried too much speed through the descent – had to repair the tape on more than one occasion as people got tangled up in it.

    Just behind me you can see the original line that we had to move as well, easing the transition from the grass to the tarmac as too many people were leaning in to the bend, standing to accelrate up the hill, spinning out and low-siding on to the tarmac where it was becoming greasy with all the mud…

    Premier Icon AlexSimon

    Some photos:

    Prize for the most garish outfit (extra points for the helmet colours not matching anything else). Is this Paul Shears?

    Eventual winner (shown here just after he’d opened the gap) Ian Field

    Who I was shouting for 🙂 as he’s local to me and also in my age category 🙂

    The podium. Ian Field in the centre, Ian Bibby on his right and David Fletcher on his left who after looking like he was dropping back through the field, just managed to pop out from behind Oli Beckinsale in the last 20 yards to snatch third.

    Great race!

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