The collegiate cyclocross season is in late fall through early winter, ranging from November to January.
Cyclocross is a timed, off-road, closed circuit race that features several obstacles for riders. Courses are typically a mile long and feature steep gradients and obstacles that force riders to dismount their bicycles and carry them. Beginner races last 30 minutes, typically covering 4 laps of the course. Elite Women race 45 minutes, and Elite Men race 1 hour. Equipment for cyclocross is discipline specific: cyclocross bicycles are similar to road bicycles but are more rugged for off-road terrain, feature disc or cantilever brakes, and large knobby tires for grip in mud or other terrain unsuitable for slick road tires. In cyclocross, mountain bike shoes and pedals are used in order to be able to walk and run over tough terrain. Helmets are always worn and lycra looks great when dirty. At cyclocross races, expect hecklers lining the most difficult parts of the courses and a great atmosphere full of jokes and good spirits!
Collegiate races are typically one-day events hosted by universities. The highest finishing riders in each race earn points individually and for their university squad. These point totals are tallied throughout the season, and the team with the highest point total wins the conference omnium. Individual points are used to determine individual conference champions and which riders qualify for Collegiate Nationals. The team that has most riders in high placements wins the Team Omnium national championship and the rider that wins the individual event is named National Champion. In collegiate cyclocross, three events are held at Collegiate Nationals: Men’s Championship Race, Women’s Championship Race, and Co-Ed Relay.
The 2013 cyclocross season saw UofL compete in its first ever race, the November 24th event hosted by Marian University in Indianapolis, IN.