The 2015-16 UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup begins in Las Vegas on Wednesday 16 September, the first of seven exciting rounds and the stakes are high for British riders competing across the globe in all four categories.
Here are ten top facts about the series and the top British riders going for glory.
1. The 2015 series begins a month earlier than 2014, pulling the mighty CrossVegas into the series for the first time. It will be the first time that the world cup series has ventured across the Atlantic.
2. CrossVegas is billed as the USA’s biggest cyclo-cross race and began life back in 2007. Even though the spiritual homelands of the sport lie in Holland, Belgium and France, the scene in the USA is massive, with the country producing two-time world cup winner Katie Compton and hosting the world championships in Louisville back in 2013.
3. Unlike the majority of European races, CrossVegas shifts the racing into the (comparative) cool of the evening, with the women’s event starting at 8:15pm and the men’s at 9:30pm, a blessing given the heat of the Nevada desert…
4. The series (for elite men and women) features seven rounds. After Las Vegas round two is at Valkenberg in the Netherlands, before three Belgian rounds in Koksijde, Namur and a Boxing Day treat at Heusden-Zolder. Into the New Year it’s France and Lignières-en-Berry before the series finale back in the Netherlands at the cyclo-cross nexus of Hoogerheide.
5. There has never been a British series winner in the elite men’s world cup (which began in 1993) or the women’s (which started in 2005). Helen Wyman was seventh overall last season, while Nikki Harris was ninth.
6. Wyman has won the British championships an astonishing nine times, with a seven-year unbroken run from 2006 to 2012. Helen is no stranger to CrossVegas and is a big fan of the event, having in the past praised its special atmosphere and unique venue. Helen rides for the Kona Factory Team.
7. Nikki Harris is one of the most versatile riders the Britain has ever produced, the 2013 British cyclo-cross champion having also won national titles on the track, road and in cross-country mountain biking. She rides for the dominant Telnet Fidea team.
8. Ian Field is our top elite male cyclo-cross rider, the 29-year-old from Ashford in Kent specialises in cyclo-cross but also rides on the road and in cross-country mountain biking. Four-time British champion Field was 31st in last year’s series and rides in the colours of Hargroves Cycles.
9. In a Belgian-centric sport, it’s no surprise that the defending series champions are from the land of Trappist beer, frites and mayonnaise. Sanne Cant won the women’s title last year while Kevin Pauwels took the elite men’s series.
10. The world cup series also features separate honours for under-23 and junior men, which misses Las Vegas and begins in Valkenberg in October. Ben Sumner and Jack Clarkson were Britain’s top two riders in the under-23 category in last year’s series.
- 16 September 2015 – Las Vegas, USA
- 18 October 2015 – Valkenburg, Netherlands
- 22 November 2015 – Koksijde, Belgium
- 20 December 2015 – Namur, Belgium
- 26 December 2015 – Heusden-Zolder, Belgium
- 17 January 2016 – Lignières-en-Berry, France
- 24 January 2016 – Hoogerheide, Netherlands
How to follow the racing
- A report, results and images from each round will appear on the British Cycling website.
- Watch the elite men's and women's races live on the UCI YouTube Channel. The women's live stream begins at 3:05am (GMT) followed by the men's at 4:20am.