About The Series
The 2011 Exergy US Gran Prix of Cyclocross is a four weekend, eight race series comprised of:
- The Planet Bike Cup - Madison, WI on September 24th and 25th
- The New Belgium Cup - Fort Collins, CO on October 8th and 9th
- The Derby City Cup - Louisville, KY on November 12th and 13th
- The Deschutes Brewery Cup - Bend, OR on December 10th and 11th.
In 2011 the categories included in overall Series scoring include:
- Masters Men 35+
- Masters Men 45+
- Elite Men
- U23 Men
- Elite Women
- Junior Men 17/18
- Women 3/4
- Women 1/2/3
- Masters Men 55+
- Cat 4 Men
- Cat 2/3 Men
- Juniors (boys and girls) 10-14
- Juniors (boys and girls) 15-16
WHAT IS CYCLOCROSS?
Cyclocross has been described in many ways, some of the more common phrases are...
“the toughest hour in cycling”,
“the NASCAR of bike racing”
“requires the finesse of a ballet dancer, the speed of a motorcycler and the grit of a hockey player”
Cyclocross is a fall/winter, on-road/off-road cycling discipline held on a looped circuit of approximately 1-2 miles.
Cyclocross racers navigate mud, sand, pavement, grass, gravel, pasture, and mulch. When the terrain is too steep to ride or they are confronted by a standard set of wooden barriers, riders dismount, shoulder their bikes and run. Regulations suggest a lap be comprised of 90% riding and 10% running.
Each race is a timed event lasting anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour depending on the racer's category. The race leader at the completion of the last lap is declared the winner. The sport originated in Europe after the second World War where road cyclists began riding in pastures and muddy fields to maintain their fitness. The first World Championship was held in Paris in 1950.
A cyclocross bike splits the difference between a road bike and a mountain bike, equipped with knobby skinny tires, drop handlebars and a lightweight frame.
Cyclocross enjoys a colossal following in continental Europe and is currently the fastest growing cycling discipline in the United States. The UCI has targeted the US as a key market for the expansion and continued growth of the sport.
In 2013 the organizers of the USGP will produce the UCI Elite Cyclocross World Championships in Louisville, KY. This represents an historic first for the sport - it will be the first time the World Chamionships have been held outside of Europe in the 60+ year history of the event. Additionally, Louisville will host the 2012 and 2013 Masters Worlds Championships - giving US racers both Pro and Master the chance to win the Rainbow Jersey on home soil!
Cyclocross is a great sport for viewing by spectators as the racers complete laps every 6-7 minutes, so there is always plenty of action happening right before your eyes. Clanging cowbells are a staple accessory used in cheering on the competitors at most every cyclocross event.