"MUD. SWEAT. FRITES. COWBELLS.
Quite possibly the most entertaining three days of racing the UK has ever seen."
Bold claim indeed, but there's a buzz building about this race series with coverage on the Rapha website, Facebook and every cross riders favourite, twitter.
Just another workmanlike cross race series, like a second tier National Trophy series? Err, no not really. At all. First off, Rapha are throwing a lot of resources, and influence behind this in a way I can't remember ever being done for cross racing before. Think pro racing, amateur racing, scenic courses, cowbells, Belgian beer, frites, a dj and sound system, marshmallow pelting and even a tequila shortcut.
In other words, a good deal like a proper Belgian cross with entertainment, refreshment (mostly liquid), a high degree of silliness and of course some excellent cross racing thrown in for good measure.
Why am I excited, nay giddy, about this? Mostly because it is unlike anything you will have ever seen at a UK cross race, and much closer to the vibrant US and Euro scenes which encourage spectating as much as racing, and therefore provide a much livelier atmosphere than the usual spartan muddy field/urban parkland/sportscentre venue. This for me is the missing link in UK cross - the chance to turn it from a diehard's niche form of cycle racing to something much bigger altogether. And more fun.
I'm also a bit giddy as I've been invited to help promote and hopefully, ride in the events, guesting in the candy striped colours of Rapha-Focus . More on that later as details emerge.
In the meantime, book the following in your diaries:
- Saturday October 15
Lake Windermere, Cumbria
Brockhole Visitors Centre
- Sunday October 16
Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
Huddersfield New College
- Sunday October 23
Alexandra Palace, London
You don't have to be wanting to race - just come along and spectate as the whole thing promises to be, well, rather super.
I'm already jealous of your Rapha kit connection - now you're just rubbing it in! Well done Al you deserve it for the enthusiasm and work - see you there and expect some 'splitter' heckling if you're in candy stripes and not HCtB red/black/white ;->
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