Top Cyclocross Races In America

Legend has it that European cyclists used to stay in shape during the winter by racing each other to neighboring towns. Riders were free to cut through fields, climb fences and find other shortcuts enroute to the finish line. In 1910, the sport really began to take off after Octave Lapize, a French cyclist, attributed his Tour de France victory to off-season cyclocross training.

Today, cyclocross still takes place in the autumn and winter. Of course, groomed courses consisting of wooded trails, pavement, grass, hills and other obstacles have replaced farmer’s fields, fence lines and drainage ditches. But the essence of the sport remains the same.

In this article, we’ve outlined 5 of the top cyclocross races in America; one from every region.

Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross
Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross (Falmouth, MA)

Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross

The Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross (RRFCX) is known for including exciting features like Belgian Steps and sand. Remarkably, this ‘cross has managed to strike the perfect balance between a relaxed atmosphere and fierce competition. In fact, one of our favorite things about this event is it’s location. Cape Cod is a wonderful destination to both explore and relax.

Information and Registration

As a USA Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) competition, RRFCX riders have an opportunity to earn ranking points. That makes this a great way to watch or compete against the best of the best. But don’t worry if you’re not quite ready for the world-stage because the race is split into categories which include elite, masters, juniors and Super Squirts—a special course for kids up to 8 years old.

International Cycling and Event Services organizes this race in addition to a few others in the Plymouth, MA area. RRFCX will be at the Cape Cod Fairgrounds in Falmouth, MA on November 5-6, 2022. Registeration is available online through BikeReg.

For places to stay, the Holiday Inn is a popular choice. Falmouth also has a variety of charming resorts and BnBs to choose from.

Cross of the North Cyclocross Race
Cross of the North (Fort Collins, CO)

Cross of the North

Rain, sleet or snow, the 3 kilometer Cross of the North in Fort Collins, CO will test your mettle against mother nature. In 2011, a storm dumped an epic two feet of snow on the event causing it to go down as one of the muddiest cyclocross races Colorado has ever seen. But the potential for inclement weather isn’t the courses’ only defense. Get ready to be challenged by sand pits, run-ups, off-camber, tight turns, and power sections. The Cross of the North has earned a reputation for being both unpredictable and unforgettable.

Information and Registration

Last year, hundreds turned out for 2 days of exhilarating competition. This is not a Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) event but riders are required to have a USA Cycling Race License in order to compete. The race is organized by First City Cycling Team and New Belgium Brewing has been the event host since 2017. For First City Cycling Team, the mission of the race is simply to “be the best and set the example for others to follow.” They pride themselves on learning from their mistakes, striving to find ways to improve and listening to feedback from riders.

Registration is available online through BikeReg or in-person. Race day registration is $50 and closes 45 minutes before the start. If you’re up to the challenge, you can also register for a second race for just $15. Once registered, a course preview is offered at 7am and again at 12pm on the day of your race. After the race, reward yourself with an ice cold beer. After all, the race is sponsored by New Belgium Brewing.

Trek CX Cup Cyclocross Race
Trek CX Cup (Waterloo, WI)

Trek CX Cup Cyclocross

The Trek CX Cup is only one of nine races in the UCI World Cup cyclocross series that’s hosted in the United States. Naturally, this draws the world’s top-ranked cyclocross riders and sets up a weekend of fun for both riders and spectators alike. The course itself includes a double pit, three flyovers, one set of stairs and one set of barriers. In addition to great racing, there’s also live music, giveaways, and contests to go along with a brilliant selection of food and beer. Whether you choose to race or just watch, you can expect to have a great time at this event.

Information and Registration

The CX Cup is hosted annually by Trek at their company headquarters in Waterloo, WI. In addition to the premier event, the company also offers a number of amateur races allowing you to experience the same 2,900m course as the pros. However, if you hope to compete in one of the amateur races you’ll need to sign up early. Registration closes when the field limit of 150 riders per start time is reached.

If you’re looking for somewhere to stay during your visit, camping is available at nearby Fireman’s Park. Otherwise, there are a variety of hotels to choose from in the college town of Madison, which is only a 30 minute drive from Waterloo.

Across the Beeriers
Across the Beeriers (Athens, GA)

Across the Beeriers Cyclocross

Branded as the best “crafted” cyclocross in the South, Across the Beeriers is the Georgia Cyclocross Season Finale (GACX). This makes it one of the most exciting events of the season. Here, you’ll find riders of all abilities along with tons of fun activities. To top it off, Southern Brewing and Terrapin Brewing keep the beer flowing all weekend and food trucks are scattered throughout the venue to give you a taste of southern cooking.

Information and Registration

Across the Beeriers is hosted at the Southern Brewing Company in Athens, GA. Traditionally, each race features about 5 to 10 riders. The small field and relaxed atmosphere make it a wonderful opportunity to cut your teeth on the exciting world of cyclocross racing. The course itself is about 2,600m. It includes a short climb followed by technical descent.

Register online through BikeReg to avoid a late registration fee. Non-licensed riders will need to purchase a USAC license in order to participate. A one-day USAC license is available for just $10.

Sacramento Cyclocross Series
Sacramento Cyclocross Series (Sacramento, CA)

Sacramento Cyclocross Series

The Sacramento Cyclocross Series features eight races throughout the fall and winter. The series rotates between different venues in the region, making it an excellent way to see all that Sacramento cyclocross has to offer. Each race involves four classes: A for expert, B for intermediate, C for beginner and “Single Speed,” which the organizers affectionately refer to as the class for “crazy people.”

Information and Registration

Clipped In Races has been organizing the Sacramento Cyclocross Series since 2014, but the Series began in 1998 as a collaboration between local cycling clubs and bike shops. Today, each race typically has between 10 to 20 riders who can look forward to being cheered on by an enthusiastic crowd of spectators.

Races are $35 each. Registration is available online.

Finish Line

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