The Utsunomiya Cyclocross UCI event is taking place tomorrow and Sunday with newly crowned elite men’s cyclocross national champion, Brendon Sharratt, taking on a diverse field with national champions from all around the world.
Speaking about the upcoming racing, Sharratt told RoadCycling, “They have labelled this event as a ‘world race’. National champions including Austrailans, Czech & Slovakian riders will be on the line and I am sure a few other nationalities.
“It’s going to be really exciting. Sadly the Australian champion crashed heavily on the road & won’t be on the line. The Japanese race pretty aggressively which will make for a great race to watch. The course is brilliant. Technical, fast, challenging & one to keep the mind & body fighting from the gun,” Sharratt explained.
This is Brendon’s first outing on the international cyclocross scene as national champion, and there are dual motives at play for him. “For me it’s about taking opportunities that arise and paving the path for future national champions to race CX internationally and grow the sport in NZ.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the NZ champion’s jersey in a country that has a high respect for international sport. Japan loves NZ & to be able to race here is a dream.
“The competition will be fierce, they have a big population & they love intense sports. The scene here looks pretty strong, recently a race here had nearly 100 riders in Elite Men, this creates hard racing.
“Coming over here is also a great way to start a relationship for the future of NZ Cyclocross. Hopefully future champions grab hold of these opportunities and make themselves known to international events that are realistic to attend to progress their level of racing.
To find out about Utsunomiya Cyclocross or to enter click here.