The Euro Cyclocross season has started, with the first Superprestige and bpost bank trofee races having already run (video here! SP Gieten and bpost Ronse) – so it’s the right time of the year to share how I’ll be watching and following the season. (If you’d like a Spanish-language guide, here’s El Pelotón‘s)
First of all, if you’re new to the wonderful world of cyclocross, there are three big season-long series – the UCI World Cup, bpost bank trofee and SuperPrestige, as well as some standalone races. The first two have season-long competitions as well as individual race results, and I’d say that World Cup is the most important. My good friend tgsgirl, who writes most of the words in Bálint Hamvas’ gorgeous cyclocross annuals, writes an annual calendar of races for Podium Café, which describes what they’re like – I highly recommend Part 1 of the calendar, to help get an idea of what to watch. November this year looks unbelievable, with the weekend of 1st & 2nd having Koppenbergcross (the Ronde van Vlaanderen of CX! The first C1 Euro race with equal prize money for women!) and Zonhoven (in a super-steep sandpit), 22ndis Koksijde World Cup (sand-dune chaos!), and 29th the first World Cup in the UK, Milton Keynes. Happiness!
All men’s races start at 15:00 European time/2pm UK/9am USA Eastern/1am Sydney time in Aus (but only once the clocks have changed from November!). For the World Cup and bpost races, the women usually start at 13:30/12:30pm UK/7:30am USA Eastern – SuperPrestige are different, which is a theme….
So, how to follow the races?
The very good news is that all the women’s World Cups are streamed live, all the way through, on the UCI youtube, with English commentary, starting this weekend on Sunday 19th October, with the Caubergcross. These are viewable everywhere except maybe Belgium, as Sporza streams it free there, and maybe the USA, because Cycling TV have the USA rights on a pay-per-view.
However! If you want to see the UCI stream, you can use services like Hola and Tunnelbear set somewhere like the UK or France, and you’ll be fine. (If you use Tunnelbear, you can turn it off as soon as the stream starts running, to save your allocation).
For season rankings, articles, news and results, the UCI’s World Cup page is a great resource. And for all the three series, Sporza have a cyclocross Match Centre, and if you click on each series (World Cup is WB, or Werelbeker, and women is “vrouwen”) and each race you get all kinds of interesting information, as well as the Sporza livestream for the next series…
Generally we get the least information about the women’s from this series, but that may change. We get highlights of the women’s races before the men’s races, and these usually turn up in the video carousel on the Sporza Match Center page for each race, and on the Sporza videozone page for CX (scroll down for each series).
(If you want to watch the men’s bpost races, use hola or tunnelbear set to Belgian, and go into those Sporza streams. Or there are usually streams on one of these three sites. As always, be careful what you click on when using streams.)
While they don’t have a women’s series, and this is the first year they’ve given women year-long contracts, their tv is usually a bit better than bposts. The men’s races are streamed live and un-geo-restricted on Belgian tv channel VIER – head to their veldrijden portal for streams and news, and look on their video page for clips of the women (look for “vrouwen”) – they tend to have longer clips than Sporza, although Sporza also will have clips of the races via the links above.
I tend to talk about the races as they happen in livethreads on Podium Café. Their cyclocross section has lots of great information – and I recommend these resources for newbies from last year – a newbie guide and Q&A.
I mentioned Bálint Hamvas’ book, and his cyclephotos.co.uk site is full of those gorgeous photos. This year he’s doing race previews as well as photo reports from each race, and I highly recommend his twitter too for live race updates.
Sporza cycling producer Andre Meganck also tweets from the races, including the women’s, you should follow him too. And a lot of the time the very best information comes from the riders themselves – here’s my twitter list of CX women which I add to all the time.
For media, Cyclingnews has a CX portal, Cyclocross Rider is having great content right now, and Cyclocross Magazine has a Euro and USA focus. If you want more USA CX, Behind The Barriers has this great range of video content, and in the past, CyclingDirt had videos too, but perhaps not this year.
As always, if you want me to answer any questions, let me know in the comments or ask me on twitter. Cyclocross is so much fun to watch, with so much variety –