Each year on the Friday before World Cyclocross Championships the UCI drops the following years calendar of UCI ranked cross races. It’s when we get all excited to see what new races are on the schedule and start our planning for any cyclocross programs in Belgium. We decided to make an interactive map of all the races. There are selectable fields which allow you to turn on just the C1, C2 or CDM (World Cup) & CC (Continental Championship) races.
The biggest change to come for 2015/16 cyclocross season is sure to be the new World Cup venues. This year CrossVegas will join the top of the world along with a new venue in Montreal. Cross Vegas has been well established as the preeminent cross event in terms of production and crowds over the last couple of years, so we are excited to see this event make the step up. Montreal isn’t known at this time. In fact, it is usually an established C1 event that will join the World Cup circuit (Providence has long said it’s desire to be a WC event) so I was a little surprised the Montreal race made the step up.
The other bit of observation by many was the distance (2,579 miles driving to be exact) between the events when they take place only 4 days apart . I think many euro riders are in for a bit of surprise in how much distance there is between them (even flying). I think many of the North American racers are going to be secretly liking the logistics and hurtles the euros will be taking to get to both world cups as it’s something many in North America know only to well. This will be. I also hope that many of the euros will stick around and do a race or two after the World Cups to bring some extra level of competition to the US scene. Will be nice to show them what the scene is like in the US.
We are also up from just 6 World Cup races to 8 this next season. More points will be available for those at the top and those willing to travel.
- September, 16th, 2015 – Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
- September 19th, 2015 – Montreal, Canada
- October 18th, 2015 – Valkenberg, Netherlands
- September 22th, 2015 – Koksijde, Belgium
- December 20th, 2015 – Namur, Belgium
- December 26th, 2015 – Zolder, Belgium
- January 17th, 2015 – Lignières-en-Berry, France
- January 24th, 2015 – Hoogerheide, Netherlands
The top level of the sports races are an interesting mix. The races are dominated by over half the races taking place in Belgium (all of which are just in the Flemish region of Belgium). In fact, most of the major Dutch races are all a stones throw (and some are literally a stones throw) away from the Belgian boarder). Of the 31 C1 races available there are 17 in Belgium alone. The US, number two on the list of C1’s, comes in with only six races next season, down from 8 this year (CrossVegas moved up to the World Cup level and we have Montreal, which does make up some points wise). Switzerland has a solid showing of with 4 C1 events and an established race series, EKZ CrossTour, starting to build up Swiss cross after years of decline.
What is interesting is that all of the US C1 racing is confined to the Mid-West and the North East areas. It would be nice to see some bigger events start to pop up in other parts of the US, but the calendar is already full and the sport might not be there yet, but I have a feeling that in three to four years we are going to see the possibility of dueling C1 events in the US.
Overall, not much change at the top end of sports C1 events. Belgium will continue to the be epicenter of C1 racing for at least another year.
The smaller C2 races have seen a big increase in the number of countries and in some cases the amount of racing. Overall we are looking at 18 different countries hosting UCI events in 2015/16, but not one in the southern hemisphere of the world. I was sure we would get something to come out of Australia with a growing and building interest in the sport. This year they sent a large squad over to compete at the World Championships and several riders were racing here in Belgium throughout the Kerstperiod (and staying at The ChainStay).
Where as Belgium dominated the C1 events, it’s the US which dominates the C2’s. The US accounts for over 55% of all the C2 races available in on the calendar, followed by 22% in Belgium and 8% in Switzerland. To be fair though, if you breakdown the US into different “countries” the numbers aren’t nearly as impressive. Still, we have several weekends of UCI racing returning to the Pacific Northwest after a lull in UCI race. A well established grass roots cross scene has and is thriving, but the desire to host UCI races for promoters has waned in recent years. Also coming to the calendar is a very nice Texas/Oklahoma block of racing to fill in the South Central region of the US. 6 UCI races in an area that didn’t see any UCI races until just this year! I’m quite happy to be seeing my home state of Texas bringing in some solid racing to the calendar.
The NorthEast continues to have one of the most solid and established cross circuits around and it can be argued that you wouldn’t even need to travel outside of there unless you are looking to race a World Cup or Worlds. The scene is strong and I still feel it has room for growth.
Some more notable new entries to the cross calendar are more races in Japan with a strong 4 race series. Slovakia and Sweden will also be hosting UCI cross races this year. Overall there is a steady and growing build up in new races from new countries these past few years. The sport is growing and with it more opportunity to make bigger and better things happen for everyone.
We should note that more races may appear on this calendar at a later date. The C1 race in China, QianSen Trophy Cyclocross, is not listed, but considering it was rumored to be trying for a World Cup bid I’m surprised they aren’t listed at all. It’s very possible it will be added at a later date.
UCI Races Per Country Breakdown
|Country||Number of C1 Races|
|Country||Number of C2 Races|
|Country||C1 and C2 races|