The 2005/06 London Cyclo-Cross League begins a 15 round tour of the South East on Saturday, September 17 at Eastway Cycle Circuit, and closes on February 5, 2006 with the London Team Championships.

The increase in the number of rounds from pervious seasons underlines the higher profile of cyclo-cross in recent years and the accessible nature of the sport. Categorised as 'Cat C' entry fees are; Under 10s and 12s race for free, Youth pay £4, juniors £6 & seniors £10. Non LCCA & British Cycling members pay more to cover insurance etc. Entry is on day & mountain bikes are welcome.

All riders in the London League are counted in the results, but if you want to have your results counted toward the league you or your club must be affiliated to the London Cyclo-Cross Assoc. All levels of ability are welcome & there are prizes for youth, women, Veterans, Juniors and seniors. The League is very keen to see Youth and women take part, and mountain bikes are very welcome.

Across the South East

The league will visit a number of varied courses, from open fast ones to a few snaky bike handling testers. The London Cyclo-Cross League will journey to the south coast (Brighton, Lancing & Lydden), Rainham (Kent), East Grinstead, Penshurst off road circuit, Footscray, Strood, and in London at Eastway and Hillingdon. A new venue is on December 18 at Gatwick & promoted by Evans RT.

Sponsors

Once more the league will be sponsored by Mosquito Bikes www.mosquito-bikes.co.uk and after a successful introduction in 2004/05, the 'USE Star of the Race award' www.use1.com A seatpost will given to a rider who shows the spirit of cross by their actions at each race day.

New riders

Cross attracts all abilities to local races, which are often less tense than road or some mountain bike races. That's not to say that the racing isn't full on, because it is, it's just that the cross season is more low key, relaxed or is less self important (you decide).

Cross is an ideal place to begin cycle sport and although we love road racing it can nonetheless be a nightmare for the race virgin to stay with the more experienced riders. In cross the riders are more spaced out because an event will attract many abilities and you may find someone to race, or at least to test your skills against.

Bike handling skills are honed by taking part in cross race and plenty of road racers would benefit from improving this skill. Events are generally organised by cycle clubs and this is a good way to get to know what clubs exist and an opportunity to join a club. It is a feature of the London League (& all but National events) that riders can choose to ride a MTB or a pukka cross bike (We have seen road bikes used). If you have the legs and heart you can do well on either, but a cross bike does offer advantages on the flatter and less technical cross courses.

A MTB is still a competitive beast - riders often take off their front suspension and fit narrow tyres, and hey presto a fast reliable steed that can cope with everything thrown at it. There are courses out there that suit MTB's, but were not telling.

Full details at www.londonxleague.co.uk

Dates

17 September 2005

LL Rd 1/Eastern League Rd 1

Lee Valley YCC - Eastway, London

25 September 2005

LL Rd 2 Medway Velo

The Howard School, Rainham, Kent

02 October 2005

LL Rd3/Sussex League Rd 1

VC Etoile - Lancing Leisure Centre, Lancing

09 October 2005

LL Rd 4 Lee Valley Youth CC

Eastway Cycle Circuit, London

16 October 2005

LL Rd 5/Sussex League Rd 2

East Grinstead CC - Deers Leap Park, East Grinstead

23 October 2005

LL Rd 6 - Addiscombe CC

Penshurst Off Road Club

06 November 2005

LL Rd 7 - London Phoenix CC

Eastway Cycle Circuit

13 November 2005

LL Rd 8 - VC Deal

Lydden Motor Racing Circuit

20 November 2005

LL Rd 9/Sussex League Rd 3

Brighton Excelsior CC - Moulscomb Wild Park, Brighton.

27 November 2005

LL Rd 10 - Larkfield Cycles (Graham Parkin)

The Howard School, Rainham, Kent

11 December 2005

LL Rd 11 - Sutton CC/London Fire Brigade

Hillingdon Cycle Circuit

18 December 2005

LL Rd 12 - Evans Cycles RT

Gatwick

27 December 2005

LL Rd 13 - Gemini BC

Foots Cray Activity Centre

22 January 2006

LL Rd 14 - Team Darenth

Temple School, Strood

29 January 2006

LL Rd 15 - Finsbury Park CC

Eastway Cycle Circuit

05 February 2006

London CCA Team Championships

Eastway Cycle Circuit