Cycling New Zealand is pleased to announce that Christchurch will host a fully UCI- sanctioned Cyclo-Cross National Championships this year.
The Southern Cross CX club will host the championships in Christchurch on 10-11 August as part of Aotearoa Crossfest.
The National Championships were last held in 2014 and the event returns to Cycling New Zealand’s national events calendar off the back of strong demand from the CX community, and the commitment from the Southern Cross CX Club.
The National Championship event will be open to U19 and Elite riders, with national titles up for grabs in both men’s and women’s categories across both UCI grades. More than 100 riders are expected to compete in the two-day competition.
Cyclo-cross is hugely popular in Europe during the winter months. The course is off-road across grass, dirt, mud and gravel but also can include pavement, along with barriers and slippery uphill sections that require riders dismounting and running.
Interim Cycling New Zealand CEO, Jacques Landry, is excited to welcome and support CX into the portfolio of sanctioned National Championship events.
“We are delighted by the strong support and unity shown from the CX community in New Zealand to bring back a sanctioned National Championships. It is fantastic to have the commitment of Southern Cross CX to support top riders in this code through such an event, but also the opportunity to introduce the sport to new riders through participation events.”
“We look forward to supporting the experienced organising team from Southern Cross CX to deliver not only a world class championships event, but a celebration of CX for all.”
The Southern Cross CX Club are an experienced club who have successfully organised an annual CX series since 2009. They have equal wealth of experience and passion in delivering CX events, and are in the process of putting final arrangements around the venue and course in place with key stakeholders such as Christchurch City Council and relevant land owners. The course will be located at Steam Scene, Macleans Island which has hosted a number of Cyclo-cross events and will provide a multitude of surfaces and artificial features which will not only test elite riders but showcase the sport to new riders and spectators.
Southern Cross CX President, Ryan Cooney, says the club is proud to host the return of a sanctioned National Championship and is enthusiastic about using Cycling New Zealand’s national platform to showcase the lesser known cycling code and in particular promote the women’s category.
“The event planning is coming together. We’re targeting 50 women entrants and we are delighted to have already secured sponsorship from Hirepool and Anthony Harper Lawyers whose support is crucial to the success of the event”
The return of a sanctioned National Championship event offers elite riders a rare opportunity to gain valuable UCI points to support their international campaign. The New Zealand CX National Championships will become one of only three UCI sanctioned events in the Oceania region, along with the Australian CX Nationals and the Australian C1 Fields of Joy event.
Elite cyclo-cross rider, Brendon Sharratt is fully behind this announcement.
“Having a sanctioned National Champs is what NZCX have been waiting for. The sport is no longer a niche cycling code in New Zealand and is a growing and popular choice for riders from all codes. For those of us at the elite end of the sport, this now gives us the chance to contest for national titles, jerseys and valuable UCI points which will be recognised on the international circuit”.
The Championships are subject to finalisation of a host agreement between Cycling New Zealand and Southern Cross CX. More details, including a provisional program and entry information, will follow in due course.