The rise and rise of cyclo-cross

Experts from the increasingly popular discipline discuss its success and what the future may hold

Paul Oldham (Hope Factory Racing)

As team captain of the all-conquering Hope Factory Racing, Paul Oldham has been there, done that on the national domestic scene. Oldham led the team to their third consecutive Rapha Super Cross victory last month – winning all three men’s elite races – and also remains unbeaten so far in the National Trophy series having won all three races so far. His domination has been such, he opted to implement a one-minute handicap on himself in the recent Wakefield round of the Yorkshire Points competition and still went on to win his fourth straight round – 50 seconds clear of second-placed rising star Nick Barnes.

Paul Oldham seals the first of three victories at the 2013 Rapha Super Cross Series (pic: Jonathan Hines, [email protected])

And the Yorkshireman, who was crowned national champion in 2011 and unsurprisingly currently tops the British rankings, believes the races at domestic level are becoming more popular – a trend reflected all the way down to junior level.

He told RCUK: “It has definitely increased in the last couple of years; you see a lot more people at local league events, for example.

“My son races at under-eight level, and you see on race days there are around 30-40 there – it’s crazy how many are competing at that age.

“With events like the Raphas, I certainly don’t think it’s hurting. It’s raising the profile, and is as much about having a good day out as racing. It’s very family-orientated, you’ve got the beer tents and it’s just a good day out with some racing as well.

“It’s similar to what they do in Belgium really – it’s just an excuse for a day out there.”

Newsletter Terms & Conditions

Please enter your email so we can keep you updated with news, features and the latest offers. If you are not interested you can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell your data and you'll only get messages from us and our partners whose products and services we think you'll enjoy.

Read our full Privacy Policy as well as Terms & Conditions.