The 2018-2019 Eastern Cyclocross season has proved a very successful one for the Colchester Rovers Cross Team. The club obtained its best league finish ever with 2nd out 42 represented clubs in the eastern region. This success was due to some great rides by several our riders throughout the season. All age groups contributed to the team performance, but fantastic efforts by George Collins & Isaac Starmer in the U10 category, Dan Hall in Youth, Sarah Thomas & Laura Mansel-Thomas in the Vet Women really helped to seal our best ever finish.

Final Adult Eastern Cyclocross League Positions

Final Youth Eastern Cyclocross League Positions

Cyclocross continues to grow in popularity, and that was certainly reflected in participation by Rovers this season. Across the 16 Eastern League fixtures, a total of 24 Rovers competed this year. The Rovers were represented in most age categories, from under 8 to over 60. The only weaknesses in our entry really being in the Senior Male & Senior Female categories.

League venues were a mixture of the familiar and one or two new locations. The Rovers home race stayed at its long-term home Mistley Woods with some significant but welcome adjustment to the course. We were able to provide a proper back to back pits for the first time and repositioned that start and finish to improve safety and make better use of the grass field. The league also visited a new venue at Writtle College in Chelmsford and returned to Hillyfields in Colchester twice and the showground in Ipswich. Making for plenty of local racing.

One aspect that most riders and spectators of winter cross racing will normally expect was notable by its absence this year. Mud was missing there was a downpour in the early season race at Northlands (Basildon) that lasted most of the day, and similar weather at Welwyn in October. In the main courses were often fast and flowing with dry ground conditions.

Cyclocross is a very specific type of bike racing. For the most part, the course is off-road but there are sometimes portions of pavement included in the course. Our riders expect to encounter grass, dirt, mud, gravel, sand, and a whole slew of other assortments and combinations. The races are based on a set time (measured by numbers of laps), not distance. Depending on your category, a race can be as quick as 15 minutes (U10), or as long as 60 minutes (Seniors). Rider Numbers in races within Eastern Cross league races are typically 60 – 80 per race and sometimes up to 100 so there is always somebody to compete with at either end of the ability spectrum. If you enjoy getting muddy and riding a bike, have a think about making this you winter cycling discipline. It is more exciting that riding those same wet lanes and will improve you bike handling skills no end.All the Rovers cross riders are looking forward to a successful 2019-2020 campaign and we would like some senior ladies and men competitors to help fill our entries into these categories. You never know maybe we can go one better next season?