What is Cyclo-Cross?

Cyclo-Cross is a unique sport that combines cross country running, mountain biking, hurdles, and road cycling. Races typically occur in autumn and consist of many short laps on a 2 to 4 km circuit, featuring pavement, wooded trails, grass, steep hills, and obstacles requiring the rider to quickly dismount and carry the bike while navigating the obstruction and remount. Since the season typically takes place in autumn, races are often plagued with adverse weather conditions such as snow, rain, wind and mud – all of which add to the sport’s allure.

Skinny tires, short but sharp off-road races with hurdles, obstacles and intense action await riders in this discipline. Cyclo-Cross combines the technical aspects of mountain biking and road racing speed, but neither in excess, so it is an excellent sport for someone looking to get into cycling. It is the most accessible form of cycle sport with racing for everyone – from young kids to grandparents.

Homegrown: The sport has grown immensely in Ontario and is very spectator friendly as riders are passing spectating areas every 6-8 minutes. The short and winding courses make it attractive to watch the riders master the challenges on the course. Races take place in off-road venues such as public parks and other open and accessible spaces. It is an off-road event, the surface can be everything from grass and mud to gravel and sand. It’s fun and provides thrills for riders and spectators alike.

How do you get involved?

With their feet on the pedals and their head in the clouds, cyclists in all parts of Ontario enjoy the freedom of feeling the fresh air on their skin. If this is the feeling you are seeking, you came to the right place. Our members are drawn from all areas and backgrounds, with riders from under five years of age up to sixty plus. By becoming a member at Ontario Cycling (OC), you are joining the cycling community, and it will get you access to several activities and member benefits. Get your membership and license here. If you are new to the sport of Cyclo-Cross racing, please select the entry-level/novice category unless you have a previous race license with another cycling entity (proof required before the license will be issued).

Regional Sanctioned Events

Regional level events have the same categories as Ontario Cup (OCup) events. Events previously classified as citizen-level events now fall within the regional level of sanctioned events. Please confirm with the organizer as some categories may change due to the number of riders participating. Since Cyclo-Cross World Championships are in January 2023, classes are based on the rider’s age as of December 31, 2023.

Ontario Cup

Ontario Cups are raced at the highest provincial level against riders of their age or ability group. The people and families involved are usually interested in bikes, competitive sports, and their children’s physical and mental health. Ontario Cups also pride themselves on offering equal opportunities to both sexes and top-class competitive sports to all members. It is common for the whole family to be involved. The family nature gives the race day far more depth and dimension than just a simple race – it is an Event with an outstanding atmosphere.

In Cyclo-Cross, several Ontario Cups are hosted and merged as the Ontario Cup Cyclo-Cross Series. Throughout the races, points are awarded to all categories, except youth ability categories. The best rider will be honoured as a series champion at the end of the season.

Only riders who purchased their racing membership through Ontario Cycling are eligible for OCup points. Riders who upgrade during the season will not carry their accumulated points into their upgraded category. OCup points earned will remain in the class they were awarded within.

The Cyclo-Cross World Cup season occurs from September to January, with the World Championships held in January. With the Championships occurring in January, categories at sanctioned events within the 2022 season are based on the rider’s age as of December 31, 2023.