Ulster Cyclo-Cross


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Cyclo-cross training

Saturday 17 September 2011

The Cycling Ulster Off-road Commission held a training day on Saturday 17 September 2011 for senior riders who wanted to take part in this year's cyclo-cross season.  Cyclo-cross racing throughout Ireland has been steadily improving both in terms of numbers attending and the standard of the courses and race organisation.  With this in mind the commission felt it appropriate to provide an  information and training day to support both riders who were wishing to take up the sport this season and to those who had already had experience of this form of winter competition.

The commission is very grateful to Allister and Fred MacSorley from Apollo CT who have had years of experience in cyclo-cross racing both at home and abroad.  Apollo CT had ran a similar course two years ago and this helped to provide the main structure to the day's presentation.  The training took place at the Cush Pavillon in Lurgan Park where the first round of the Ulster CX series will take place on Sunday 2 October.

Fred MacSorley took the morning session which was focued on the history of the sport, set up of the courses, equipment needed, training and nutrition.  Right after the nutrition section it was appropriate to stop for a healthy lunch before the riders got changed and ready for the practical session in the afternoon.

Roger Aiken, former Irish cyclo-cross champion, arrived to assist with the skills training.  The riders were greeted with warm weather, sunshine and blue skies, very untypical weather for cyclo-cross.  After a warm up lap around the championship course that was used in January 2011, the riders were lined up for some practice starts around a short course.  The nature of cyclo-cross racing demands fast starts in order to get to the first corner or narrow section before as many other riders as possible.  

Fred and Roger then took the group through the skills needed for dismounting and remounting the bicycle at speed.  In any cyclo-cross race there can be up to 6 sections where riders have to dismount and run with their bikes.  Bike lifting techniques, both short lift and shoulder lift were then taught.  Riders were then able to practice doing hops over some obstacles and running over the plank obstacles.  To finish the riders were taken through a session of cornering and how to maintain a high average speed.

At the end there was discussion followed by tea and coffee.  It is hoped that this cyclo-cross training day will feature every year and that more riders, both newcomers to the sport and experienced riders, will come along and enjoy the day.

Report by Martin Grimley

More photos here




With the upcoming Cyclo-cross season about to start in October, the Cycling Ulster Off-road commission have organised a Cyclo-cross training day on Saturday 17 September 2011 at Lurgan Park.  Start time 10 am.  Finish 2 pm.  Refreshments supplied.

There will be a mix of classroom style talks on training, nutrition etc before the practical work outside.  There are a unique set of skills for cyclo-cross racing which will include dismounts, remounts, cornering and tackling barriers and steps.

The training is aimed at those aged 16 or over who will be taking part in cyclo-cross races this year and the cost will be £5 per person payable on the day.
  • All riders must have a current Cycling Ireland licence.  
    (If you need to get one then please contact Martin for advice using the email address below.)
  • All riders to bring along their cyclo-cross bike for the practical sessions
  • A helmet must be worn
A full agenda for the day will be available early next week.  In order to help organise numbers for catering purposes, all those wishing to attend the training must contact Martin Grimley either by email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or by text message to 07899 913865.
Map of Lurgan Park here