New five-race Norfolk Summer Cyclo-cross League prepares to launch

Norfolk Summer Cyclo-cross League.

Norfolk Summer Cyclo-cross League. - Credit: Archant

Cyclists will have a new competition to tackle in Norfolk this summer, as a new cyclo-cross league prepares to launch later this month.

Kate Scotter taking part in a cyclocross race at Snetterton.

Kate Scotter taking part in a cyclocross race at Snetterton. - Credit: Archant

The Norfolk Summer Cyclo-cross League is intended to attract more interest in the sport ahead of the traditional season during the winter months – which sees plenty of cold, wet and muddy riders racing around tracks across the country.

The off-road courses tend to be between 2.5km and 3.5km in distance, with a track of around three metres wide and some parts of courses requiring riders to carry their bike to overcome the tough terrain.

Organiser Len Fletcher, from North Creake, explained: 'It's intended to be an introductory league to give people the chance to get an idea of what the sport is about in the summer when perhaps the weather isn't as bad, as it can be pretty filthy conditions in the winter.'

There is an established regional winter competition, the Eastern Cyclo-cross League, which is held at venues across Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.

The new summer league will be held across five stages in Norfolk, starting at the CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) college site at Bircham Newton, near King's Lynn, on Sunday, March 29.

The monthly races will then continue through until August at New Eccles Hall School, Holkham Hall, Hempton and Easton College.

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Each round will feature a 10-minute race for under-10s and a 15-minute race for under-12s on a short course, as well as a 30-minute youth race for 12- to 16-year-olds.

Over-50 men and junior, senior, 40-49 and over-50 women will compete in a 40-minute race on the full course and junior, senior, 40-49 men and open categories will take part in a one-hour race.

Fletcher continued: 'It can be frustrating at the start of the men's race seeing 40 or 50 men and then seeing the women's race begin and there's only 10 or 15 starting, so hopefully this will give everyone a chance to try.

'One of the things to start with is you don't have to have a cyclo-cross bike, you can race on a mountain bike. The aim is to have quite a nice, relaxed event, so hopefully everyone can enjoy it. It's all about getting people on to their bikes.'

Fletcher hopes to include more rounds and venues in the league next year and would like to hear from any venues interested in hosting a race, or anyone interested in volunteering as a marshall, via email at norfolkcross@gmail.com.

For entry details for the new league – sponsored by Streetlife cycles in Norwich, Jewson Tool Hire & NakedGreenz – go to norfolkcross.com or search for 'Norfolk Summer Cyclo-cross League' on Facebook.

Are you launching a new sporting event? Contact reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or david.freezer@archant.co.uk

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