What’s Cyclo-cross?

It’s an all-out effort held over a course with a variety of terrain to test your lungs and bike handling skills. Courses are usually 2.5/3.5km long on varied terrains of grass, tarmac, woodlands paths etc.

Seniors race for 1 hour, Women/Juniors/Vet40 and 50/60+ race for approx. 40 minutes. Youth 30 minutes with under 12’s 15 minutes and under 10’s for 10 minutes.

What many people comment upon is the good-natured atmosphere that Cyclo cross events are held in.

What if my club is based outside the London/South East Area?

It doesn’t matter, any rider can join in. Just enter the race.

What is a Commissaire?

Commissaires are trained volunteers who ensure fair and safe competition in cycling races. Commissaires are present in all levels of racing and operate in all racing disciplines. What they do are –

  • Oversee and approve pre-event planning and documentation
  • Check risk assessments
  • Ensure clear communication with organisers, event teams, riders and parents.
  • Hold briefings and debriefings
  • Demonstrate a duty of care
  • Assume responsibility for fair and safe conduct during racing
  • Approve results, levy and complete reports post-event.

At each event we appoint 2 to 3 qualified British Cycling Commissaires and Trainee Commissaries. They are very visible in their Blue uniforms, they will blow a whistle 5 to 10 minutes before each race and arrange rider gridding and start each race. They will hold a short rider brief before each race that is very important for all riders to attend.

I would like to become a commissaire, what do I do?

We are always on the lookout for new commissaries. We would like to grow our events in the South East but at present we are limited as we have approx 10 Cyclo Cross Commissaires in our region. The area we wish to develop more is in Kent and the South Coast. It is a very rewarding role and if you would like to find out more please come and see us at an event to express your interest using the contact us email address.

Can I practice on the course?

Yes, we have allocated practice times as detailed in the race day schedule. However these timing can be subject to on the day race conditions and will be managed by the commissaires. There will be a visible part of the course where you will see one of these open or closed 4 metre high flags. Please only access the course when  you see the green course open flag please.

Riders are only allowed to ride on the course if they have entered a race at the event and are displaying their race number on the bike.

We do have allocated sign on times for each category but we will allow a family to collect all family rider numbers in the sign on allocation timing of the first race entered (Example under 8 and Vet 40 Women and Vet 40 Man, we would allow all riders number packs to be collected in the allocated time for the the under 8 rider which is 8.45am to 9.30am) this is to ensure that those younger riders could have support practising on the course.

How do I find out how I’m doing overall?

The results will be available on this web site during the season along with the results of all ‘cross events.

Do I need to have a spare bike?

No, but...

I have a spare bike and wheels. Where can I put them?

Cyclo Cross rules allow riders to have spare bikes/wheels to deal with the dreaded mechanical. Also as Cyclo Cross is a winter sport, we can have very muddy courses that would be an advantage to receive a clean bike every lap. The area designated on the course for all this to happen is called the Pits. Most courses will offer what we call a double pit. What this means is that the pits are accessible at 2 points on the course so you should only travel max half a lap to receive assistance.

There will be an entry and exit point for the pits that will be signalled by yellow flags. Important rule to know is that once you pass the exit point of the pits, you have to continue in the direction of the course, you cannot simply leave the course or retrace your steps.

The Pits where you may also meet the most dedicated and friendly of supporters in cycle sport, The Pit Crew. They will be armed with an array of equipment from Petrol and Rechargeable Jet Washers, water canisters, bike stands and various equipment to service riders’ needs.

Of course many riders will self service and simply place their spare bikes or wheels in the pits. What we do say is that please be careful leaving your equipment in the pits as this is your responsibility as the pits are not managed for security and many of our events are in public places. 

We also ask riders to place bikes and equipment in an orderly fashion in the pits and leave the service pit lane free. This will be marked. We also ask that riders only place their equipment in the pits just before their race and not whilst another race is still on to avoid congestion.

Please note that for all under 12 riders there is no option of a Pit. These races are 1 bike only.

If you are planning to have a spare bike then we advise you purchase a spare bike number as this has the timing chip in it. If you use a bike without one then you go invisible to the timing system and it relies on manual scoring and a clever process in the timing software that predicts you position in the race, however this has to be manually verified and slows down confirming a result for the prize presentation.

Are mountain bikes allowed?

Yes, MTB bikes are allowed in all London and South East League events but not in National or International events.

What is British Cycling membership?

To race our events you will either have to be a British Cycling member or purchase a “Day Licence”. The minimum membership requirement for our events is the Race Bronze membership package that includes a provisional licence that allows you to race our events. However if you wish to race the Regional champs, National Trophies or the National champs, or receive national ranking points, you will need to upgrade to a full racing licence that would also require an upgrade to the Race Silver membership.



There are great benefits to being a member and certainly if you are looking to race a few events it will be cheaper than paying the Day licence charge at each event you race.

What if I’m not a British cycling member?

No problem at all, you pay an on the day £3 “Day licence” if you are not a member of British Cycling. This is applicable for each event and is included in your non-member entry fee.

Under 8/10/12/14/16 categories are exempt from this charge.

Do you have First Aid?

Yes. We are pleased to announce that Collingwood Services Ltd will be providing processional cover for all league events this season. They are experienced in providing cover at mountain bike events in the South East and they will be very visible in the uniforms, ambulance vehicle and 3m high first aid flag.

What Facilities do you have at your events?

All events will have Toilet facilities and most events will have refreshments serving Tea, Coffee, Burgers, Hot dogs and of course the cyclists favourite food, CAKE. Also look out for Belgian classics like Crepes and Waffles.

What is the point?

The top three-win trophies, get their names in the cycling press and of course printed at this web site. Oh, and it’s fun.

I want to know more about all the rules for Cyclo Cross?

The following link is to the British Cycling rules handbook that we follow for our league events.


For those riders looking to race the big events, this is the UCI rules


Race Incident communication process

This will be communicated at the start of each race in the commissaires briefing but good to know this beforehand. This is guidance in the rules.

16.5.1 For all events measures must be made to ensure adequate communication of incidents

16.5.2 Designated course marshals and key officials shall be equipped with yellow and red flags and a whistle in order to indicate race incidents.

16.5.3 In official training and competition marshals shall wave a yellow flag and sound the whistle to indicate a potential hazard on the course. Riders observing a yellow flag must reduce speed and proceed with caution.

16.5.4 On the instructions of the Chief Commissaire or Chief Marshal, marshals shall wave a red flag and sound the whistle to indicate a serious incident on the course which warrants the stop.

So in a nutshell…

If you see a marshal or commissaire waving a Yellow Flag, this means Riders observing a yellow flag must reduce speed and proceed with caution.

If a marshal or commissaire is waving a red flag and blowing  a whistle, this indicates a serious incident on the course which warrants you to stop.

Is there an enter all series option?

No, you need to enter each event separately.

Are you hosting the Sussex League?

Yes, we are hosting alongside the London and South East League the 4 round Sussex League. Cick here to find out more about the Sussex Cyclo-Cross League

Can I enter on the day?

No, for this season you can only enter in advance online.

Do I need to register for the league this season?

Once you enter one race you will be provided at your first race and sign on with your race number pack. This will be the number pack that you would use at all events thereafter. The LCCA for this season are covering the costs for the race number packs.

Where can I return my numbers at the end of the year?

The team champs in February is a great place to do this. We will also late in the season advertise a postal address to return them too. We welcome all numbers to be returned as we are able to recycle them to keep costs down in future seasons.

However can you please ensure you clean your race numbers.

Lapping Riders

The great thing about our League is that you could line up at your race next to national or world champions. With fast racing on short circuits it is inevitable that you could be lapped by the lead riders. Now we understand that everyone has a part to play with good race etiquette. We would expect the lead rider to call ahead in plenty of time “Leaders, on the left/right” as most appropriate for the conditions. They are responsible to ensure they pass you when it is safe to do so. The rider being lapped we would expect you to give up the racing line to allow them to pass safely. 

Spectators Code of Conduct

The London and South East Cyclo Cross League sets out to be welcoming, encouraging and supportive of all riders and officials at our events. We also expect spectators and support crews to bring their “A” game to create that buzzing Cyclo Cross atmosphere we all love by ringing cowbells, blowing trumpets, singing songs, waving flags and generally being noisy in supporting all riders (All as long as you are far far away from the timing team gazebo!)

Please avoid any individualization of comments as this “Heckling” may not be warmly received or appreciated by a rider and certainly will not be tolerated by the organising team.There is an old saying that is quite apt “If you cannot say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all”